Oh, those pesky fine china drying woes!

I have a love/hate relationship with tea towels. I love how they look and feel, but hate how semi-unabsorbant they are. Pretty? Yes. Functional? Well, they’d lose to a Bounty Quicker Picker-Upper every time.

But in researching the history of tea towels (oh, the things I do for you, dear reader), I’ve discovered that that is an unfair comparison to make. Tea towels were never intended to be used as a replacement kitchen towel to dry saucepans and colanders. Tea towels were created in 18th Century England as a towel to dry expensive tea service pieces of china. Hence, its name and the use of linen material so it wouldn’t scratch these fine pieces.

Fast forward to modern America and so many of us use tea towels as regular kitchen towels because, well, we have them around, we don’t exactly have fine
china and they are towels, aren’t they? I suspect we’ll continue to see an increase of tea towels in American homes as the tea towel industry continues to roll out sweet and sassy designs that make buying tea towels an easy sell. Even for those of us who have no business drying fine china.

In that spirit, check out some of these British-themed tea towels from ToDryFor.com.

Shown above, starting at the top left and moving clockwise: London Calling, London, Made in England, Jelly, Family Favourites, Fish & Chips and City Skyline. All are available at ToDryFor.com, which delivers in the US.


Posted on 14, October 2011, in Design and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A few years ago, I ran out of good tea towels (aka tea cloths in our house) and asked nearly everyone I knew if they’d get me one… and I got deluged with the things! But just before they started being given to me, I found some great ones via a company called Lakeland (I dunno if you can order from them from outside the UK, but I’d think you can) and they were amazing. So now I have a (large) drawer full of the things.

    They may originally have been for drying fine china, but there is a kind that’s just for drying glass (hence, called ‘glass cloths’. Yet they look much the same as tea towels).

  2. PS. I just had a quick look around the ‘todryfor’ website – they’ve some nice stuff… I can see a few Xmas prezzies coming from there!

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