Hang on! Hangers for Everyone

One of the essential needs of mankind is clothing. People flock to the malls to shop for garments. There they find a huge choice, neatly displayed. Ready to pick and choose? Most clothing is attractively displayed by the use of wooden, plastic or metallic wire hangers.

At home a major use of storage space is to store clothing, shoes, and garments. People take convenient easy to use clothing storage options for granted.

Origin of Hangers

It was not quite like this till the late 1800s and early 1900s. Till that time clothes were simply folded and stored. This was not great for the shirt or pants nor was it a great way to display. This led to the invention of the clothes hanger. The garment retailers and dry cleaners led its adoption to display and store garments.

In time hangers were used to store apparel at home too.

It was an elegant invention. It stored the garment without creasing it, saved space and was a great help in displaying the garment.


Most of the garments like the shirt, suit coat, and sweater hang on the body of the wearer from his shoulder. This lead to the design of the hanger in the shape of a person’s shoulder. A lower bar was added to hang trousers, skirts etc. A hook or clamp was added to the design to enable it to be hanged from a fixture.

The hanger allows the garment to be stored in the form in which it is worn without creasing. It saves space and also makes it easy to store or remove a garment. Therefore it is also used for garment inventories.

Types- Metal, Wooden and Plastic

At first there were wooden and metallic wire hangers. Plastic ones were introduced at a later stage and are mostly found in households. The wooden hanger was beautified by coating of lacquer on natural finished hardwood, and are use for display in shops. Metallic hangers are also inexpensive and can serve for a lifetime.

Modern trends

The modern trends are in the direction of luxury, environmental concerns and innovative use of materials. Examples of luxury are hangers specially designed for pet apparel.

The concern for the environment leads to the issue of recycling. Despite being able to serve a lifetime they do have a shelf life after which they are discarded and thrown in landfills. It becomes environmentally hazardous as some toxic materials are used in lacquer and plastics. Hence plastic ones are now being recycled but to a limited extent.

Hangers arrived as innovations and the innovation continues. One example is a one with a comic face display that changes when clothes are hung on it. This excites children and attracts them towards their use and not dump their clothes around the house.

Another example is one with a magnet in place of the hook. The magnet attaches itself to a metallic cupboard’s roof. This does away with the need for a bar. It therefore allows greater freedom to store clothes in a cupboard.