I just love a laundrette, the nostalgia and the design. People don't really use them as much as they used to these days i expect, with more people with machines in their houses and flats.
Today i went to a local laundrette in East London on Amhurst Road with my trusty photographer (mark from Planet Patrol Gallery), armed with a bunch of our new tartan range (inspired by the laundrette) and thought we'd take a few photos.
I love the utilitarian natures of these spaces, they are public but still private as its a a place where you literally air your dirty laundry. They are usually pretty clean due to the nature of what they are there for and usually coin operated.
Laundrettes sort of remind me of a common room in a university dorm. Personally i never stayed in one myself but when i went to visit friends at Cambridge in their shared house, it had that vibe with the signs and common courtesy vibe that it has. People sort of (usually) mind their own business in these places but also acknowledge each other in that they are temporarily sharing a space.
The graphics in this one in east London seem to be stuck in another era, maybe the 80s or 80s. "please do not overload, please do not oversoap", it sort of made me laugh that they give some tips to the laundry rookies visiting the laundrette who may not know how to operate these machines.
I was not aware that you are not supposed to eat or drink in a laundrette, i guess it might differ from place to place, but i am assuming its a deterrence from people ordering deliveroo to the laundrette and sitting there eating their dinner whilst waiting for their wash cycle to finish. I think its a bit harsh that you can't even eat some nuts in there, but then again you don't really want people to be touching the machines with their grubby crisp hands, thereby passing on dirt and grime to your newly washed clothes and laundry.
I think a laundrette is probably a good place to catch up on some reading or if its empty enough a phone call to someone who you haven't spoken to in a while. I personally was reading a book on shakes and smoothies and juices, new combinations worth trying. I did get a few tips, however i like mainly to stick to my favourites, involving bananas, mangos and peanut butter (not all together).
I'm not sure what the 'X's are on the floor for, maybe it has something to do with covid19 and where you were allowed to stand doing your washing. Its very strange thinking back to those times when even standing too close to someone was awkward and frowned upon.
Today i'd come straight from the gym and a yoga class hence wearing leggings and a bit of a hodge podge outfit. I'm glad i wore my checkerboard socks though, i think they were a good colour contrast to the turquoise tumble dryers.
Laundrettes are a place where pondering is encouraged, watching your clothes go round and round in the washer or tumble dryer makes us wonder about the circular nature of life. I find it quite a peaceful thing to do, sit there, thinking, watching the world go by. Then when you leave you have a load of clean clothes!
If you are a fan of the aesthetic of laundrettes, you must check out the instagram account @coinop_london which shows photos of a huge range of coin operated laundrettes around London. They are truly great, there is even a book that goes alongside the instagram account that you can buy.
When was the last time you washed your duvet? i have never washed my duvet and having seen people wash them in the laundrette today i'm feeling a bit self conscious. Do people wash them and then tumble dry them or JUST tumble dry them?
There are a lot of electronic machines out there right now, they have lots of digital screens etc, I'm not against progress, especially when it comes to practical things in life but from an aesthetic point of view i really like the old school dials and the buttons that you can press. I also think its important to have clear instructionns on the machine. I think this one does quite a good job of explaining what to do. I think everyone leaving home for the first time should be sent to the laundrette with a load of clothes to figure it out for themselves before they qualify for fending for themselves. I just made a mental note to teach my kids how to use the washing machine at home before they get too old. The younger one is 4 right now so i might wait a couple of years.
The dryer in this laundrette takes £1 coins and 25p coins. Its £1 for 6 minutes and 38 seconds. I wonder how they came up with this time? To dry a load with 2 towels, tracksuit pants a few t-shirts and some underwear took about £3 all together. Its quite expensive really, more than i thought it would be. But i guess that just shows how inflation works and how long its been since i have done a load of washing at a laundrette.
If you like these pictures, pls leave us a comment, you can also see the rest of the photos from the same day, there are 80 all together here on the flikr folder HERE