March 08, 2013

Collection: Tea towels

Image: Personal French tea towels: Le Jacquard Francais (l), tissutoselli (r)
I have a stack of everyday tea towels for drying dishes.  I also have a collection of tea towels for tea serving purposes -- to line the table or tray, to cover pastries or savories.  Here is an excerpted quote from the wiseGeek entry for "tea towel":
A tea towel is a cloth which is intended for the specific use of drying dishes and cutlery after they have been washed. In addition, clean tea towels may be spread over a tea tray before tea things are put onto it, or used to cover warm scones or a tea pot to prevent heat loss. Many kitchen supply stores sell tea towels. They are also readily obtainable in England and Ireland, two nations well known for their tea. For people outside of these nations, numerous mail order company are happy to supply genuine Irish and English tea towels.

Linen is the traditional fiber for tea towels, since it can be used to dry delicate plates and silverware without the risk of scratching. In general, tea towels are made with a simple weave, rather than a looped terry, and they are made in a hand towel size. Tea towels made from cotton are not uncommon, and a cotton tea towel tends to be much less costly, making it suitable for daily use. In some cases, a tea towel is woven in a pattern, while in other instances, it may be decorated with paint or embroidery.
Image: Personal tea towel by Atelier LZC

One of my sisters-in-law gave me an Atelier LZC towel with a matching apron.

Image: Personal tea towel by Cath Kidston

My mother-in-law gave me a Will & Kate Royal Wedding tea towel.

Image: Marimekko Kattila tea towel set (source)
I would like to expand my collection and found a few lovely pieces made by Marimekko -- the Katilla towel above and the two types of Puutarhurin here and here -- and Anthropologie's Loyal tea towel, which is no longer in stock.
Image: Ikea AGOT tea towel (source)

Of course Ikea has cool designs, the AGOT show above and the rosy EVALILL.

Tell me about your tea towels!

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