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International Clothesline Week – June 1-8, 2024

International Clothesline Week is celebrated from the first Saturday of June to the next, all around the world. This year is takes place from June 1 to 8. It is a week-long celebration initially created to enlighten people about more sustainable living. Do you know that Hills Clothesline, the famous clothesline producing company in Australia was started by a former WWII soldier, Lancelot Leonard Hills? He wouldn’t have thought of inventing the rotary hoist clothesline, that would be globally sought after if his wife hadn’t complained about washing falling off a prop washing line. This proves that challenges bring forth opportunities.

History of International Clothesline Week

International Clothesline Week was first celebrated in 2006. Gary Drisdelle founded the day to advocate for use of the century-old laundry essential. As the world strives towards green energy and less carbon emission, individuals, organizations, and parastatals have advocated for less use of energy sources that emit ozone-depleting substances. Drisdelle decided to remind the world of one such way that is as simple as going back to drying one’s laundry on a line in their backyard. About 16 years back, he founded a week-long awareness event, International Clothesline Week, and today, it’s observed by loyalists worldwide.

It’s difficult to say when clotheslines were first used and imagine, instead, that clothes were simply hung anywhere they could get dry. The word ‘clothesline’ was not even mentioned in any text until the 1830s in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. More recently, the invention of the clothesline is attributed to Gilbert Toyne, a blacksmith, who first patented his Aeroplane Rotary Clothes Hoist in 1911.

The evolution of clotheslines was fast-tracked in Australia when upon returning home from the Second World War, Lance Leonard Hill found his wife struggling to hang her laundry. He proceeded to take some old pipes, weld them together, and create what came to be one of Australia’s famous inventions; the Hill’s Hoist, a type of clothesline widely used around the world. The story of Hill’s invention was so widespread that realizing the business side of it, the former soldier decided to take his invention into business, and thus, came the birth of Hills Clothesline, a famous clothesline-producing company known globally.

International Clothesline Week timeline

First Known Use of 'Clothesline'

The word 'clothesline' appears in Merriam-Webster's dictionary along with its definition.

A Clothesline Type Patented

Toyne patents his Aeroplane Rotary Clothes Hoist.

Hill's Clothesline Invention

Hill invents his Hill's Hoist.

Hills Clothesline is Established

The Australian clothesline manufacturing company is established.

Extruded Clothesline Made

Extruded clotheslines made from PVC enter the clothesline market.

Hills Clothesline Acquired by U.S. Company

Griffon Corporation acquires the popular clothesline company.

International Clothesline Week FAQs

Where is the best place to put a clothesline?

In terms of erecting, clotheslines should be put on leveled ground. In general terms, clotheslines are ideally put in an open space where the sun or air can readily get to them. In most homes, clotheslines are found in the backyard, and for houses without a backyard, parts of the front yard are used.

Why do line dried clothes smell good?

All line-dried clothes usually have that distinctive pleasant smile that is a result of the reaction between the sun rays and wet fabric.

What clothesline is best?

Retractable clotheslines are said to be the best. This might be because you can draw it in, when not needed, creating additional space, and instead, draw it out when needed to spread as many clothes as it is designed to accommodate.

International Clothesline Week Activities

  1. Dry your laundry on a washing line

    Even if you have a modern dryer, try drying your laundry on a line, at least for the week. You might change your mind about drying your clothes in the dryer when you see the money you save on electricity.

  2. Make more clotheslines

    If an outside clothesline is allowed where you reside, the week is a good time to add more colorful clotheslines to your space. What better way is there than to show off your threads?

  3. Get creative with your clotheslines

    Reorganize your clothesline layout into patterns that passersby can’t help but admire the beautiful arrangement. It will add a pop of color to your surroundings.

5 Facts About Laundry

  1. Vikings use ship backs to wash clothes

    The Vikings used to tie their dirty clothes to the back of ships to get washed as they passed through waves.

  2. Ancient Romans used urine

    Dirty clothes were dipped in heated urine, a useful cleanser, and stomped on when washed in Ancient Rome.

  3. Astronauts incinerate their dirty clothes

    Astronauts in space incinerate rather than wash their dirty undies.

  4. Henry Sidgier invented the washing machine

    The British inventor created the washing machine in 1782.

  5. Detergents were invented due to soap shortages

    Detergents were invented due to a shortage of washing soaps during World War I.

Why We Love International Clothesline Week

  1. It’s a form of exercise

    Hanging your laundry is a form of physical exercise. The bending, picking up, flapping, and stretching are all ways of keeping physically fit.

  2. It decreases expenditure and energy consumption

    Using clotheslines decreases the amount of energy consumed by modern dryers. Consequently, you’ll be saving money spent on electricity bills.

  3. It decreases carbon emittance

    Clotheslines use means a decline in dryer use. Therefore, it decreases the carbon emissions from these energy-consuming machines.

International Clothesline Week dates

2022June 4Saturday
2023June 3Saturday
2024June 1Saturday
2025June 7Saturday
2026June 6Saturday
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