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Tea Towels to Dry For

A tea towel it’s called, but it has little to do with tea.

Tea towels and their American cousins dish towels have been used since the 18th century for drying dishes and cutlery after they have been washed. These pieces of cloth – mostly of the size of a hand towel – have a long history of being flat-woven rather than terry cloth. Apart from drying-up duties, a tea towel may be used for various odd jobs in the kitchen – to spread over cooked food, cover a tea tray or mop up a mess.


An article in Weaving Today, a textile trade magazine, says tea towels are said to have originated in 18th-century England, where “the lady of the household would use them to dry fine china and delicate tea sets, jobs that were considered too important to trust to potentially clumsy servants.”

They were also often used as a way for the women of the house to show off their embroidery skills.
Linen is the traditional fibre, but many are now made from cotton. Striped and checked patterns are extremely popular, but tea towels are now a part of kitchen décor – they often make a style statement.


Look for quirkiness and novelty to add a fresh touch to your kitchen!

Photos courtesy: ////
Neha GroverLovely!