Thursday, January 29, 2009

Solar power drying: world tour

I live in Los Angeles. You can say what you like about this city, but it's certainly sunny. Yet my neighbors, or rather their cleaning ladies, are holed up day and night in utility rooms drying clothes. The dryer roars as the cars thunder by and the planet burns. Maybe it's time to try an alternative.

You want to use solar power, but how do you get started? Here's a view of laundry drying from some other places and times. In the next blog we'll show you the essential kit you need to unplug the dryer once and for all.

Store your clothes pins in style 
with this Cath Kidston peg bag 

First stop, England. It's a rainy place, and maybe that's why the English are expert at air-drying clothes. It takes technique if you don't have much sunshine. Indoors, outdoors, in the sun, over the oven or in the airing cupboard, they've got it down to a science.

My husband and his mother 
hanging sheets to dry circa 1959

And in Italy, where I lived and worked for a few years, the sophisticated, well-heeled and Valentino-clad ladies I met hung their laundry out to dry in the sun: some perhaps on a roof-top deck, out of public view.

Laundry drys in Venice...

...and in Naples

You're going to need a Victorian kitchen maid's apron to play the part. Make your own with this pattern from EvaDress.

Washing day in 1880

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