Everything you need to know about finding a clothes line supplier
There is no better way to dry clothes than on a clothesline. It is by far the most economical and energy efficient way to dry clothes and as an added bonus, the UV rays of the sun are a natural disinfectant. Whether you live in a studio apartment or have a large backyard, there is a clothesline that will work for you. The trick is in finding the perfect clothesline for your needs. You may be surprised by all the options that are available, so read on before you rush out and buy your new clothesline:
There are three basic types of clothesline: umbrella (or rotary), straight line and portable:
Umbrella (or Rotary) Clotheslines
Umbrella clotheslines form an umbrella-like four sided canopy. They are also called "rotary clotheslines" because they can be rotated around their central axis. There are two types of these:
"Fixed head" rotary clotheslines are designed to be permanently left in place. They are usually made primarily of galvanised steel, including their lines, and are heavy duty clotheslines designed for large families and apartment complexes.
"Fold away" rotary clotheslines can be folded down, lifted out of their central housing and stored away when not in use, just like an umbrella. Fold away umbrella clotheslines are ideal for households that want the option of using the clothesline area periodically for other activities. They usually come with PVC lines and other lightweight components.
The size of a rotary clothesline is determined by its head diameter. A clothesline with a head diameter of 4 metres will require at least 2 meters of clear space in all directions from its central housing in order to be able to swing freely around its axis. You should also allow at least one metre extra space on the side of the line closest to the house for you to stand and work, though a metre in all directions is ideal.
As a rule, portable umbrella style clotheslines have head diameters of between 2.9 and 4.0 metres. Fixed head clotheslines are usually between 4.0 and 5.0 metres in diameter.
All About Straight Line Clotheslines
The original straight line clothesline was a length of spare rope or wire hung between two trees or posts. Then ingenious designers began experimenting with variations on these that included multiple parallel lines on crossbars. These in turn led to the two most common types of straight line clotheslines we see today, the retractable and folding frame clotheslines:
Most retractable clotheslines require one fixed cabinet end and another fixed hook or other device for attaching the extended clothesline. These come in a variety of lengths of up to 6 metres or more and usually have either 4 or 6 parallel lines, though single line versions of up to 15 metres are also available. Retractable clotheslines are ideal for long, narrow spaces, indoors or out.
Another type of retractable clothesline has an accordion-like mechanism that extends straight out from the wall and does not require another housing. These are designed for very confined spaces and usually have 4 lines that run parallel to the wall. Because they are unsupported, their reach is limited, but when space is also limited one of these may be ideal.
Folding frame clotheslines fold up on a wall or floor mounted hinged vertical frame. There are several types of these, ranging from freestanding single post models that fold up into one compact unit to wall mounted fixed units that are as long as 2.4 metres and as wide as 1.5 metres when folded out.
All About Portable Clotheslines
A portable clothesline is any clothesline that can be folded flat and easily moved and stored. These range from simple PVC coated wire racks on an 'X' frame to very large four legged clotheslines with between 12 and 17 metres of line in total. All portable clotheslines are made of lightweight materials, though the largest ones may require two persons to transport and erect.
There are also portable rotary and retractable clotheslines available. The portable rotary models are capable of carrying the largest loads, but require a fixed mast housing and are designed for outdoor use.
Choosing Your Clothesline
With so many clotheslines to choose from, how do you choose the one that's right for you? These four steps will get you started in the right direction:
How much available space do you have? Do you have a wide area to work with or a narrow corridor?
How many clothes will you typically need to hang?
Do you have at least one permanent fixing point or does it need to be fully portable?
How often will you be using your clothesline?
Remarkably, even if you have very limited space and lots of washing to dry, you can find a clothesline that will do the job for you. There are even ceiling mounted, electronically controlled models available today that come with fans and UV lights, effectively turning your laundry room into the great outdoors. Take the time to look at everything that is available and you're sure to find a clothesline that will suit you to a tee.
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