Clothes Rack

unknownRepublic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty

National Folk Museum of Korea

National Folk Museum of Korea

Hwaetdae, or also called uihang (clothes rack), and hanggan (pole), or simply hwae in short, is a clothes rack for hanging clothes. Korean traditional clothes are designed to be folded or hung for storage. In this sense, a clothes rack was a useful tool along with a wardrobe for storing clothes. It generally consists of a long, thin pole, and has no decoration on the part where clothes are hung. A string is attached at both ends for hanging the rack, and the rack was usually hung across one corner of a warm spot on an ondol (Korean floor heating system) room to store durumagi (overcoat) or long outer coats in order to prevent creases. Ash wood was favored as its material, since it is strong and smooth on the surface, while bamboo trees were also used in southern regions. It was often made using wood that were easy to obtain, which were then cut to an appropriate length and trimmed to take the branches off. Some racks were made by carving and lacquering, or were attached with a metal ornament on both ends of the pole and decorated with tassels. As clothes shifted from flat patterns to draping patterns, the clothes rack became obsolete, and hangers have become widely used instead. The rack shown here has an octagonal cross section. It is comparatively longer than other racks, and decorated with numerous metal ornaments and tassels. This rack is lacquered in black overall, and becomes thinner toward the both ends. Nickel decorations in the shape of octagonal pillars cover each end of the rack, which protects the wood while serving a decorative purpose. At the spot around a seventh of the entire length away from each end, a loop decoration is attached to hang a string. A navy string with a tassel is attached to each loop decoration. A cloth cover was often draped over the garments hung on the rack to prevent dust from collecting.

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  • Title: Clothes Rack
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: Republic of Korea/Joseon Dynasty
  • Location: 한국
  • Physical Dimensions: Length 185 Diameter 3.6
  • Type: Housing/Daily Supplies/Family Heirloom Item/Furniture/Clothes Rack
  • Medium: Wood