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Tea towels- do you use them? Are you wondering if they are towels used at tea time? Or do you think it is just a fancy name for your plain old kitchen towel? Ladies and gents, let me tell you it is neither. Read on to know more.
Origin of Tea Towels
During its origin somewhere in the late 18th century, a tea towel was originally referred to as a ‘drying-up cloth’ in Britain. Elite mistresses used this special linen cloth to dry their expensive glass and chinaware, as servants were deemed too inept to perform such delicate jobs. This linen cloth began to be called a ‘Tea Towel’ in the early 19th century in the Victorian England.
Linen was the material of choice for tea towels due to its fine weave and excellent absorbing characteristics. Also, it was a popular pastime of the Victorian ladies to embroider tea towels to accentuate their elegance. These towels were used then for several purposes including covering food, wrapping hot tea pots and taking care of little spills.
The Use of Tea Towels in a Modern Kitchen and Beyond
Tea Towels are usually available in linen – the best material to wipe off water droplets from your delicate and pricey crockery without leaving scratches or lint. Do not mistake these for dish rags or regular kitchen cloths; tea towels are far more versatile than both. And several notches more elegant.
Drying hands and cutlery is the most common and obvious use of a tea towel. Here are some not so obvious uses.
Stack these neatly in your bathroom or guest area, and impress guests with these colourful versatile towels.
Use these as table mats or as attractive cover for your food processor. Place these under cups and saucers on tea trays to avoid sliding, and as food covers for dry items such as sandwiches, muffins and toasts.
Tea towels make attractive basket and cabinet shelf linings. A couple can be sewed together to make an apron or a tote bag.
Simply sew a piece of decorative ribbon on the border of a tea towel to make it look more elegant. Use tea towel to wrap a wine bottle or a similar gift, tie with a ribbon and make it a double present.
And of course do use your tea towels to up the refinement quotient of tea sessions (even if it is just on the weekends) and be transported back to the Victorian era.
Tea Towels – A Symbol of Elegance and Sophistication
As tea towels began to be used more and more around the kitchen and beyond, manufacturers started making these more presentable than ever. Their varied designs, patterns and vibrant colour combinations have turned these into indispensable kitchen utilities.
They are now available hand-painted, intricately embroidered and ornately designed.
Tea towels are no more mere kitchen essentials; these are used as collectibles, souvenirs and gifting items as well. Their design diversity makes these an ideal match for a sophisticated kitchen.
With the passage of time, tea towels have become a sign of elegance and sophistication.
Do you use these ‘artefacts’ to enhance the appeal of your kitchen?