Drying rack / clothes airer


Clothes drying rack and clothes airer — dry washing whatever the weather. Our hand made timber rack is suspended on pulleys from the ceiling. Lower it for loading, then hoist it up to dry washing where the warmth is and out of the way. An old solution revived for the modern problems with energy like cost and climate change. Delivered Australia wide in kit form, includes all the  cord, rigging, fixings, and clear instructions.


usethings clothes drying rack & clothes airer:

Dry your washing in all weather on our simple timber rack suspended on pulleys from the ceiling. Lower it for loading, then hoist it up where the warmth is and out of the way.

Energy / carbon smart:

Avoid expensive to run, energy-hungry electric tumble dryers. Use the warm air in your home — no running costs — zero carbon emissions.

No stress:

Leave clothesline hassles outside — no rushing to beat the rain or nightfall. Your washing dries gently out of the way and you retrieve it when it suits. We use ours all year round just for that convenience.

Solid & durable: 

Hand-crafted in long-lasting plantation hardwood, with through joins, steel fixings, durable sailing cord and low friction sailing pulleys. Six strong rungs take one full machine-load. Built to last a lifetime.

Dimensions: 1500mm long and 765mm wide. 

We also do shorter racks at no charge and make custom size end-frames for narrower racks for an additional $20, email to order.

Delivered Australia-wide in easy-to-assemble kit form. 

The kit comes with all the rigging and fixings you need to assemble and install your drying rack, plus clear instructions to guide you. A drill and screwdriver are all you need. Have a look at our new drying rack installation slideshow to see what’s involved.

Renters don’t worry, only 5 screw holes to install, easy to patch-up when you take your rack and move-on.

drying / airing rack, pulley mounted to ceiling' all timber Drying racks are also available from usethings store at 8 Templeton Street Castlemaine, Central Victoria.




The essence of usethings

The drying rack has been our hero product since 2004. We aim for all our products to be like it; carefully  considered in their materials, production, distribution, and use.

It’s a modern take on an old idea, a great solution that doesn’t require the energy and technology of tumble driers. Our racks are hand crafted in Castlemaine, central Victoria.

If each drying rack displaces an electric dryer with its 2kg of carbon emissions per load, at 100 loads a year our rack would save one tonne of carbon every 5 years. This is real and practical change — we see this as a move towards sustainability  and  a convenient way to dry in all weather without the consequences and expense of electric tumble drying.

Pulley drying / airing rack, close-up of tannin sleeveThe impacts of laundering clothes

Washing and drying is a major portion of clothes environmental impact when considering the whole life-cycle. Replacing electric tumble drying with our drying rack or out-door drying will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the clothes you wear.

From the Care to Air challenge:

 “While examining the lifecycle impact of a pair of Levi’s® 501’s, [Levi’s] were surprised to find that almost 60% of the climate impact happens in the laundry phase – after a consumer takes them home – and nearly 80% of that impact is due to the energy intensive method we chose for drying. The single most important step we can all take to reduce the climate impact of our jeans is to choose air drying. Energy from the sun and the wind is free, as opposed to the average clothes dryer, which is the second biggest energy using appliance in the home after the refrigerator.”

From Sustainable Fashion and Textiles  by Kate Fletcher:

“The washing and drying of a polyester blouse, for example, uses around six times as much energy as that needed to make it in the first place. […] The message here is stark: the biggest gains in environmental performance for many fashion and textile pieces can be made by tackling the impact arising from their washing and drying.”

drying / airing rack, all rigging gear included in kitSustainability

usethings focus is sustainability and our drying is successful from this perspective because it addresses issues in materials, production, distribution, and use. Our working definition of sustainable is: that only the function of the product be available to future generations at no cost to them in degraded environment, climate, or societies.

Some of the environmental credentials of our drying rack and  business:

  1. Sustainable packaging: the kits are sent out packed in recycled cardboard tied with jute twine. To be honest it’d be quicker to use packing tape, but we use recycled brown card, twine and knots. This does the job and is recyclable or compostable. Packaging is the biggest portion of our home waste, which inspired us to reconsider packaging for our products.
  2. Distribution in kit form means there is little wasted packaging space; giving efficient transportation — more drying racks per load.
  3. Green power: our office and workshop are powered by 100% green power and we’ve recently switched to the only energy provider that isn’t trying to fight the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
  4. Durable: we’ve been called out to re-install one of our first drying racks in the owners new home, a rack  that was originally installed seven years before; it was in perfect working order. Our first drying rack made for home has been in daily use since 2001, and the production units are superior to this prototype.
  5. Use what exists: as Esio Manzini says. The drying rack is an old idea. What we’ve done is design one for contemporary production and distribution from our sustainability perspective. Many older ideas are low energy solutions to everyday needs. ‘Sheila Maid’ as they have been called in the UK for over 100 years. So why use energy intensive solutions for a problem that has already been solved?
  6. Simple knots, physical joins, screws: easy to repair or replace. Of all the racks we’ve sent out or installed, only a couple have had accidents and broken rods. We simply send out a new rod; the design makes it easy to replace. usethings drying rack does require assembly and installation — we are opposed to the dumbing-down of products that require no interaction from the owner;  you’ll learn to tie the knots, but this means there is no plastic cord-joiner to fail. See our knots POV film for help with tying.
  7. Waste: you will notice blemishes in the timber and some wonky rods, we use all structurally sound timber in order to reduce production waste, so converting as much of the tree as possible into drying racks. Off-cuts are used for smaller products — like our darning mushrooms, Trivet, and Nosey Parka.
  8. Local supply chain: local producers and services form most of our supply chain, in Ballarat, Castlemaine, and Melbourne. This reduces the transport impacts, and supports local economies.
  9. The sailing rigging – a Melbourne company supplies us with the simple yet robust pulleys that offer smooth, noiseless running and low friction. 

drying / airing rack close up Some of our new drying rack owners have taken the time to email us:

“Thanks for the kit which is now assembled, suspended, and carrying a load of rapidly drying clothes. It very much enhances the room and is of great practical use. We particularly appreciate the design, the detailed instructions and the quality of the associated fittings – a very good product.”

“Just a quick email to say how impressed we are with the drying rack. It was very easy and quick to assemble with great instructions, and it has been a life saver with two small children during a fairly wet summer. We have been showing everyone we know and highly recommend it.”

“We purchased your fantastic clothes drying rack at the beginning of the year, it has been a godsend this winter. We have clothes on high rotation, drying by the fire. We love it, thankyou”

“just wanted to thank you for the fabulous drying rack kit. My rack is now installed in my garage and I don’t think I will need to use the clothes dryer except for emergencies.  It reminds me of growing up with mum drying the daily wash for a family of 8 on such a rack  above the coal range.  I don’t have the coal range but the thought is there. It’s fantastic – thank you very much.”

“I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much we love our drying rack.  We’ve had ours for several Winters, and love it so much that we bought one for my sister and her partner for Christmas. Now that it’s coming into the colder months, my sister is now truly in love with her drying rack also!!!”

Just a word of thanks for the clothes rack which Tim installed for us in Maldon recently. During these cold wet days it must have saved us many dollars, and the country a small amount of carbon emmissions in power not used on a dryer. It truly works brilliantly using all that spare heat near our 3,7m ceiling.”

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