A Sheila Maid, sometimes Sheila's Maid, is the British name for a ceiling mounted clothes and laundry airer. In the North of England it is often known as a creel, in Scotland as a pulley, and in United States as a Sheila Maid.
The airer consists of a rack with several horizontal wooden rails, usually 4 to 7, known as laths, with two rack ends, originally cast iron. The rack ends are brackets that separate the laths and also act as points to secure the cords that raise and lower the unit. Cords go from the metal tether points to pulleys mounted on the ceiling, and then to a cleat mounted on the wall.
The defining feature of this airer is its pulley system. The airer is lowered to be loaded or unloaded, then raised to move the items up into warmer air and as out of the way of room occupants as the ceiling height allows.
- Lonsdale, Sarah (12 January 2010). "Domestic Science: Sheila Maid Ceiling-Mounted Airer: Remodelista". Remodelista. Retrieved 15 August 2013.[non-primary source needed]
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