A clothesline in Tagalog is called “sampayan,” derived from the word “sampay,” which means “hang.” This laundry tool is used for drying clothes under the heat of the sun. Hanging newly-washed clothes outdoors is a great way to kill bacteria and dust mites. This method is also much cheaper than using a clothes dryer, and helps save our environment.
The practice of using a sampayan to air dry clothes naturally is common worldwide, particularly in spacious areas. Typically, a sampayan consists of a lengthy wire, rope, or string that is tightly stretched and fastened at both ends to posts or walls. The height of the clothesline is usually determined by the user’s comfortable reach with minimal effort.
To prevent clothes from falling or being blown away by the wind, they are either placed on hangers or secured with clothespins. In households with limited space, the sampayan is often placed near the windows or even inside the house. Over time, various designs of sampayan have emerged, including those made of steel bars and drying racks.
Drying clothes outdoors using clotheslines also helps prevent wrinkles, making them easier to iron and sometimes ironing is no longer necessary. This added advantage not only saves energy and money but also helps preserve the lifespan of fabrics that are sensitive to the high heat produced by dryers. Moreover, clothes dried outdoors have a fresh scent.
However, there are also some disadvantages of hanging newly-washed clothes outside your house instead of using a dryer. You will be forced to hang them inside your house during the rainy season. In the Philippines, there are months when rain suddenly pours in the middle of a very hot day. It may compromise, and your clothes might be stolen.
Meanwhile, some major cities in the Philippines, especially Manila prohibit people from hanging their clothes in electrical wires, windows, posts, and sidewalks. The law has garnered mixed reactions, although most residents support it. However, some households complain, citing insufficient space and they have no other place to hang their laundry.
Use sampayan in a sentence.
Paki kuha ang mga damit sa sampayan kasi baka biglang umulan.
Please get the clothes from the clothesline because it might suddenly rain.