Our Victorian Clothes Drying Rack: Pt. 2
“O mighty clothes rack! All hail!” turned the conclusion of last week’s post (Our Victorian Clothes Drying Rack), into a melodramatic flourish. But a not so unrealistic flourish when you consider that for the nineteen years that we had a craft felting business, we used the rack to dry all the wool, alpaca fibre and silk.
Imagine trying to get a densely matted centimetre thick wool and alpaca blend blanket of felt destined to be made into innersoles, bone dry in a hurry as you fill orders, and restock for the following weekend’s market. Or, similarly dense, getting slippers and ugg boots to dry. And the only electricity used in the drying process being for the spin dry in the washing machine beforehand.
Our ugg boots had curled up toes that handily hooked over a bar of the drying rack. Working on the toes used to add a lighthearted, novel note as we lathered them up and energetically stroked them – felted stiff like stubby penises. Colourful boots with small bells on their toes, exuding a toned-down flamboyance, nowhere near exuberant enough for a jester, but with plenty of fans amongst our customers.
When we closed down our business, I decided that I’d done enough felting for one lifetime. Since then, June’s made a replacement pair of alpaca/wool blend ugg boots for our son and made colourful mats and felt balls with and for the grandchildren, but says (apart from the occasional gift): “I’m over it.”
One things she’s not over is her love of woolcraft in general; the clothes rack is great for drying her spun hanks of wool and the jerseys she’s knitted from the yarn.
You’ll have no doubt seen flowers drying on rafters in quaint rooms. In our olde worlde dining room, June dries red clover flowers in gauze netting suspended from the clothes rack (Red Clover Tea), and dangling bunches of sage, thyme, basil, lavender, mint and various other herbs.
The rotary clothes line’s chokka as I write this on a barely above freezing Sunday morning with little hope of the sun’s light and warmth penetrating thick cloud cover. The clothes will be transferred to the rack come early evening and they’ll be dry by the following morning.
In winter a boon. And a drying rack for all seasons, for all manner of things.
That’s all on modern-day homesteading at Little Owl Gully till next Monday. Thanks for your company. Bye for now.