A clothespin (US English), or clothes peg (UK English) is a fastener used to hang up clothes for drying, usually on a clothes line. Clothespins often come in many different designs.
Not to be confused with the one-piece wooden clothes-peg for hanging up coats that was invented by the Shaker community in the 1700s. During the 1700s laundry was hung on bushes, limbs or lines to dry but no clothespins can be found in any painting or prints of the era. The clothespin for hanging up wet laundry only appears in the early 19th century patented by Jérémie Victor Opdebec. This design does not use springs, but is fashioned in one piece, with the two prongs part of the peg chassis with only a small distance between them—this form of peg creates the gripping action due to the two prongs being wedged apart and thus squeezing together in that the prongs want to return to their initial, resting state. This form of peg is often fashioned from plastic, or originally, wood. In England, clothes-peg making used to be a craft associated with the Romani people, commonly known by the slur gypsy, who made clothes-pegs from small, split lengths of willow or ash wood.