It’s said that the clothes peg or clothespin was invented in the 1800s – first by English gypsies who carved one piece wooden pegs and then 50 or so years later came the two piece with spring peg created by an American inventor. Over the centuries, the peg has evolved from the standard one or two piece wood as shown in the photo below, to an array of materials, designs, and colours. Whether with a spring or not, both have their benefits & downfalls.
Two Piece with Spring
The spring in these clothes lines makes hanging your laundry much easier as you can open the peg fairly wide, which helps on thick clotheslines or on chunky laundry. Although, these are susceptible to snapping and rusting.
While not as common but still available, the one piece peg holds your clothing gently so there’s little chance for any peg marks. It is also very sturdy, lasting a long time before needing to be replaced.
Wood pegs are popular as they are sturdy & do not get damaged from the sun. However, they can rot and get mouldy if they get stuck in the rain or in damp conditions.
Inexpensive and available in heaps of different colours and designs, plastic pegs are probably the most common peg found in homes. However, it’s best to use them inside since the UV rays can cause damage such as fading and cracking.
Generally made in stainless steel and of high quality, metal pegs aren’t as common as they are pricey and hard to find. If you do manage to find them, it’s worth the expense as they will last for the long haul.
If you prefer to use the most environmentally friendly option, bamboo is your go to. These pegs can also be pricey, but they are sustainable and just as sturdy as wood. They tend to be gentle on your clothing as well, hardly leaving any marks.