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17 Different Types of Clothes Line Pins and Clips

The traditional clothespins are wooden, one-piece designs and were handcrafted by English gypsies. They were first patented in the 1800s and were also used for making peg dolls as they are still today.

The later version, which are made of two separate pieces and a spring, was invented in 1853 by an American Vermont-based inventor named David Smith. This was improved on in 1887 by Solon E. Moore, another Vermont inventor.



Spring clotheslines

Source: Houzz

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Adding a spring to clothespins make it a lot easier for people to manipulate these clips and to hang up their laundry to allow it to dry. They are available in both plastic and wood, and often come with designs or in different colors to make them a little bit more fun to use. When using this type of clothespin, you have to have enough strength in your hands and fingers to be able to push the ends together in order to open the clip and to clip it onto the clothing. This is difficult for some people and is the reason that traditional clothespins are still available.

As long as they are taken care of and brought in out of the rain, this type of clip will last for a very long time, but there is always the concern of the metal hinge rusting over time. Another problem that some people have with this type of clothespin is that it can’t be twisted when being put on the clothesline or taken off, as the hinge will pop loose and the two wooden pieces will come apart. While it is possible to fix this problem, these clips are so inexpensive that, generally, people opt to buy new ones instead. This design has been popular for over one hundred years, and while it has been improved upon a little bit, the main design has remained the same.


Traditional clothesline

Source: Home Depot

The traditional one-piece clothespin fell in popularity when the spring version became so popular, but many people still love this type of clothespin for a number of reasons. Instead of relying on a hinge to hook clothing to a line, this clothespin is pushed down over the laundry and the line, securing them together. It’s typically a lot easier for people who have arthritis in their hands to use, as they do not have to press to open the clothespin to put it on or take it off.

Another benefit of this type of clothespin is that when it is used correctly, it will not leave as many marks on the clothing as spring clips will. This is because the smooth wood on the inside of the clip will slide gently over the fabric and hold it in place without relying on teeth to grab the fabric. When you are in a hurry, however, it’s easy to put these pins on incorrectly and the result will be wrinkled fabric that was bunched up together as it dried.

This type of clothespin is popular for some people to make craft dolls or angles, as the two ends of the clothespin look like they may be legs. It’s fairly easy to find this type of clothespin, although they are not nearly as common as hinge clips. While hinge clips are available in both plastic and wood, this type of clip is only found in wood. Because they are made from a solid piece of wood, there isn’t any risk of them popping apart the way there is with hinge pins, so they are very sturdy and can generally be used for an incredibly long period of time before needing to be replaced. As long as they are brought in out of the rain and allowed to dry before being stored, there is no risk of rust since there isn’t any metal, and the risk of mildew or rot is very low.



Regular clothespinSource: Home Depot

When you go to the store to buy clothespins to hang up your wet laundry, you will want to buy ones that are regular in size. These are just a few inches long, but that is the perfect size for clipping your wet clothes. Besides hanging up wet laundry, there are a number of different uses for regular size clothespins, including clipping together mittens and hats in storage, crafts, wreaths, chore charts, and more. Having a pack or two of regular clothespins around the home allows you to do laundry or get crafty at any time. Most of the time, when you are buying clothespins, they are going to be the regular size. If you want ones that are smaller or larger, you will generally have a little bit of trouble finding them in local stores, and you will be much better off buying them online. Since this is the most popular size of clothespins, it makes sense that it is so easy to find them in local and online stores. This also means that they are usually very reasonably priced, while different size clothespins are going to cost a bit more than regular ones.


Mini clothespin

Source: Etsy

Mini clothespins are not used for hanging up laundry, but are great for many different crafts. While they simply aren’t strong enough to hold wet clothing on the line, they are great for play in a dollhouse. People who love art can use mini clothespins to hang up their finished artwork along a line in the home, as the paper is generally light enough to be supported by these small clips. They work great for making Christmas ornaments, organizing thread, for use as a bookmark, and to hold the cords from your phone and tablet. When using mini clothespins it’s very important to remember, they are not nearly as strong as regular clothespins, so trying to make them hold more than they are easily able to, will cause them to break. These tiny clothespins are often less than an inch long.


Jumbo clothespin

Source: Etsy

While not useful for hanging clothes up on a line outside to dry, jumbo clothespins are a lot of fun for crafting and for decorating. They are generally strong enough to hold up a towel in a bathroom so that every member of the family knows which one is theirs, and can also be used to hang up coats or other clothing in the bedroom. When you are using jumbo clothespins for this purpose, you do have to make sure that they are secure on the wall, so that they do not fall down. These clothespins are generally made out of wood, and have a metal spring that allows them to easily hold your items. Look for jumbo clothespins that are up to a few feet in length to ensure that they will have enough strength and weight to stand up to the heavy items that you want them to hold and to display.



Plastic clothespin

Source: Wayfair

Plastic clothespins are very popular and work well both inside and outside of the home. They come in all kinds of colors, shapes, and designs, making it easy to find ones that appeal to you, and will make the chore of doing your laundry a little more fun. When shopping for plastic clothespins you will want to make sure that they are high-quality and can stand up to a lot of sun, as the UV rays will begin to damage the plastic immediately, and can cause them to degrade quickly. For this reason, a lot of people opt to use their plastic clothespins inside the home where they will be a little more protected and won’t be in the hot sun all day. One concern that some people have with this type of clothespin is that the teeth are so strong and pronounced that they will leave very large marks in clothing, especially if it is made of a more delicate fabric. This pushes a number of people to use these hardy clips on towels and other heavy items that can stand up to their strong grip.


Wooden clothespin

Source: Hayneedle

Wood clips are very popular and can be used inside and outside of the home without worrying about them being damaged by the sun. This means that they can be left outside on the hottest summer days without you having to worry about them cracking or breaking. Of course, wood clothespins will not be able to stand up to water the way that plastic ones do. While some people like to leave their clothespins outside all of the time to have them ready to hang up clothes at a moment’s notice, wood clothespins will become damaged over time if they are allowed to get wet on a consistent basis. This can not only damage the pins but cause them to rot and mildew. They do not leave marks on clothing the way that plastic pins do, but they do require a little more care as they are so affected by wet weather.

Some people worry about whether or not their wood clothespins will be negatively affected by the small amount of water they will be in contact with when hanging up wet clothes, but chances are good that this small amount of dampness will not cause a problem. If you are worried about it compromising your wood clothespins, then you will want to make sure that they have plenty of time to dry before they are put into storage, so that there won’t be any chance of mildew or rot.


Metal clothespin

Source: Houzz

While not nearly as popular as plastic or wood clothespins, you can find ones that are made entirely out of metal. Generally made from stainless steel, these pins are high-quality and are built to stand up to all kinds of weather without being damaged. Of course, if the stainless steel does get scratched or bent then you will have to deal with rust, but barring that, these clothespins will generally last for a very long time without any problems. They can be used not only to hang your wet laundry in order for it to dry, but also for crafts. They are strong enough to pin together socks in your drawer and industrial enough in appearance that they look great holding together files or paperwork in your office.

In general, metal clothespins are a little more expensive than plastic or wood clothespins, but since they will last for such a long time, you will get a great return on your investment. It can be a little tricky to find them in stores, so your best bet when shopping for metal clothespins is to buy online from a reputable company. Instead of using torsion springs that are common in wood clothespins and will twist apart and fall apart, these metal clothespins rely on a compression spring. This compression spring is incredibly strong and is trapped so that it will not come apart, and you will be able to enjoy a much stronger grip than with a plastic or wood clothespin.



Clothespin with hook

Source: Home Depot

Sometimes you want to be able to hang items on your clothesline without using a clip or worrying about it blowing away off the line, and when you have that need, you will want to buy clips that have hooks. These are on the longer arm of the clothespin, so when you attach the pin to the clothesline, the hook will hang down, making it very easy to hang items off of the hook. Not only will you avoid any marks from a clip or pin, but you won’t have the line that makes it so obvious that your clothes were hung up on a clothesline. These hooks are great for delicate items, such as bras, and can even be used with other articles of clothing that can be hooked, such as a tank top or skirt with a drawstring.


Clothespin with floral designs

Source: Wayfair

Doing laundry shouldn’t be boring, and when you buy laundry clips that have fun designs on them then you will find that this chore is instantly more enjoyable. You can buy all kinds of different designs, which will make your laundry even more fun to look at when it is hanging up. Make sure the clips you choose are high-quality so the designs do not begin to fade right away in the hot sun, as the powerful UV rays will, over time, affect the quality and strength of the clip.


Clothespin in various shapes

Source: Wayfair

Fun shapes may not make your pins or clips any more useful, but they can make hanging up the laundry a little more fun, which is important for a lot of people. Rather than traditional plain pins or clips, when you opt for ones that have a shape on the top of the clip you will not be sacrificing quality or function, but will simply enjoy a design on your clip. It’s important to be careful when using these for long periods of time in the hot sun, as the plastic will weaken over time and may become prone to snapping or breaking. Taking good care of your clips and being gentle when using them, and when putting them away for storage, will keep them in great condition longer.


Ergonomic clothespin

Source: Hayneedle

If you have problems manipulating clothespins, but still want to be able to hang your clothes up to dry, then you will want to make sure that you find pins that are ergonomic, as they will allow you to use them without causing you any pain. It’s normal to have difficulty with opening hinged clothespins as you get older and your hands get weaker, but you shouldn’t have to suffer to hang your clothes out to dry. Opting for ergonomic clips or pins will give you the control that you need to be able to open and close them without any struggle. The larger shape, as well as the comfortable pads where you grip the pin, makes using them easier and will decrease the chance that you will experience any pain.

Soft-Grip Pads

Soft grip clothespins

Source: Hayneedle

No matter what you are hanging up, you probably do not want there to be marks on your clothing when it is dry. Traditionally, it is very common to have these marks and creases, and while it may not bother you when they are on towels and sheets, if you are hanging up clothes, you will want to avoid this problem as it will look unsightly and draw attention from people that you meet. Instead of trying to sandwich an additional piece of cloth in between your clothes and clip to protect the fabric from wrinkles or marks, opting for pins that have soft-grip pads will keep your clothes looking their best. These pads are on the inside of the clip and will rest against the fabric of your clothing to protect it. Rather than fretting over marks, when you use these clips, you can rest easy that your clothing is protected and will look great.


Clothespins in bulk

Source: Houzz

There are very few times when you only need a few clothespins, and the best way to make sure that you have enough for your laundry or other needs is to buy in bulk. This allows you to get a massive amount of clothespins all at once, so that you don’t run out when you are in the middle of hanging up your laundry, which can be very frustrating. Even if you think you know exactly how many clothespins you need to hang up your wet clothing, chances are good that you will eventually break a clothespin or one will go missing. Instead of having to run to the store to buy more right away, if you buy in bulk then you can make sure that you have all of the clothespins you will need for any use.


Personalized clothespin

Source: Etsy

Personalized clothespins don’t just make doing your laundry fun, they also make crafting and other projects a little more enjoyable. While many people only think about putting their names on their personalized clothespins, you can actually have any phrase or words you want put on your clothespins. This is great if you want to use your clothespins in crafts or for hanging up art, as it is easy to distinguish who made the art that is on display. In addition, personalized clothespins can have pictures, decals, or designs on them to make doing laundry a little bit more fun.


Handmade clothespins

Source: Etsy

While some companies will personalize your clothespins for you, if you want them to be very special, then you will want to opt for ones that have been handmade. These will cost a little more, but generally tend to be very beautiful. Not only can your handmade clothespins be personalized, they can be painted intricately, which will make them beautiful for displaying art. Of course, you will probably not want to use hand painted clothespins outside, as they will run in the rain and fade in the hot sun, but indoors they are a great way to display art and to add beauty to your crafts.


Vintage clothespin

Source: Etsy

While many people want to buy new clothespins if they are going to be using them for laundry, so they can be sure they are in great condition and will not break quickly, vintage clothespins have a lot of charm that appeals to many people. These clothespins, while older, are generally still functional, but sometimes are best used for display. They can be used for weddings, crafts, or in a shadowbox. Plastic vintage clothespins may be close to cracking and breaking, but wood ones are typically strong enough to stand up to more use. If you want to use your vintage clothespins to hang out wet laundry, then you are probably better off opting for wood ones, as they are much more secure and will last for a longer period of time.

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