Line drying is a way of life here in Jamaica. When I was a little girl there was no such thing as a washing machine, much less a dryer. Yes man! So if yu* want clean clothes, yu betta* wash them by hand and hang them pon* the line. This process usually takes all day, and hope it is a sunny one, depending on the size of the wash load. I’m telling you, so folks like my Aunt Una who has twelve children…Lawd* mi* can’t even imagine. A lot of washing and by hand!
Now, the hand-washing was killed, although not entirely, by the vast importation of washing machines to the tiny forward thinking island of proud people about the late 90’s to early 2000’s. However, folks tend to have a washer and not a dryer for several reasons. First, the cost of electricity is extremely high in Jamaica and using a dryer will cost too much. Second, some of the older houses are not equip to facilitate a washer and dryer; a plumber and electrician would be needed, again cost. Third, it’s the washing by hand that most folks dread and the energy used to hang laundry on the line is minimal. And fourth, there is something about seeing clothing hanging on the line and swaying in the breeze that Jamaicans find relaxing; now that’s culture. The task is done so now relax and enjoy the view of an accomplished day.
On the other hand, a great number of Jamaicans still do not have neither a washing machine nor a dryer, because they simply cannot afford such ‘luxury’, and have no choice than to wash by hand and hang their clothing on the line to dry.
Line drying also depends on weather, because hanging laundry directly in the sun will result in stiff towels and clothes. Hanging them in a little shade and sun will dry clothing softer. Wind also plays a vital role in line drying. Now that is energy conservation.**Patois Translation** * Yu-you * Betta- better * Pon- on * Lawd- Lord * Mi- me