We have a washer-drier but I’ve never actually used the drying cycle on it. I prefer to use non-electric clothes driers. It saves on electricity and you can be getting on with the next load while the previous one is hanging.
I’ve compared Sheila’s Maids in a previous post – however, there’s only so much ceiling space available for drying laundry. And, if like ours your ceilings are low, floor-standing clothes driers are a great addition or alternative; we use both types. our 2-metre 4-lath Sheila’s maid hangs about one and a half loads of washing, the one above has seven 2.4 metre slats – a stonker!
We have two floor-standing clothes driers – my favourite is a vintage 4-panel wooden one that fans out from a central axis. It folds flat and takes up very little room.
- Classic traditional concertina indoor clothes airer, 6-metre: £34.99, Lakeland
- 4 panel, 4 rung clothes airer: £69, Etsy
- 2.4-metre, 7-lath Victorian Kitchen Maid® pulley clothes airer: £86.25
With this recent lovely summer weather, there’s been lots of washing being done – it hangs outside in the warm breeze and dries in minutes. Winter is a different matter in the Pennines. Hang something outside in January and it will remain wet for days – or even freeze solid!
It’s at times like this that we turn to our Sheila maid (also known as a kitchen maid, creel or pulley). It hangs from the ceiling out of the way above the fire in our kitchen, so doesn’t stop heat reaching you at floor level, but benefits from all the rising hot air.
Sheila maids can accommodate a full load of washing so there’s often no need for an energy-sapping tumble dryer. We’ve always liked the look of them too – there’s something very homely about them.
You might find a vintage example in an antiques centre or at auction – alternatively, you can buy new. Here are three of our favourites. There’s something we like about the traditional style versions but the modern metal example above is useful in that it can expand or contract depending on the size of your room or amount of laundry to hang.
- Modern extendible ceiling airer: £49.99, Lakeland
- The Original SHEILA MAID ® airer 57″ 6-rail, extra wide – black: £72, Amazon
- 8-Lath wooden hanging clothes drying rack or pot rack: £72, Etsy