The washing paddle or washing bat, known as thaapi in Haryanvi and Hindi languages, is a hand tool used to do laundry. It is made of wood, shaped like a baker's shovel (a peel), but with a much shorter handle used as a grip. It was used to beat the wet clothes and linens, pushing out the dirt by hammering the items against the washboard, or against the flat slabs built into the laundry area.
This was usually done at home or in the public wash-house (lavoir). In the latter case, each woman had to carry with her the washboard and the washing paddle. The paddle was used together with a washboard, made from a rectangular wooden frame with a series of wooden or metal reliefs or ripples mounted inside.
Women were going to the laundry with their baskets full of dirty clothes, a little bench to protect their knees and a block of homemade soap.
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