What's a tea towel? Traditionally it was a towel to place over a tray to lay out your tea and tea time accessories. Of course popular in England and Ireland. I am not British but I am of Irish descent. If you ask me how I started making these utilitarian cloths I couldn't tell you. I also am not a tea drinker, but I am married to one and I am a fabric lover. Most Americans don't know what a tea towel is. Although most do use them every day. We call them dish towels. My family uses them all the time. I couldn't believe when I opened up my cabinet to count how many I had. 48. Yes, 48! That's not including ones probably in the dirty laundry pile. We use them mainly for drying our hands, under the dish rack at the sink and for basket liners.
With Christmas behind us some of you may have received a tea towel for a gift. They do make wonderful hostess gifts, one of the many uses. Ok what else can you use a tea towel for. Here are some ways to put this cloth to work. Some, new to me.
1. Wrap a gift, looks beautiful when the gift is something homemade from the kitchen.
2. Placemats, especially if you have color coordinating towels and eating something very messy! I use them as placemats for my 18 month old. Usually that's one for every meal.
3. Place it under a cutting board when rolling dough to prevent the board from moving. This one I read on babble.com
4. Drying vegetables
5. Pick up hot things, like a tea kettle!
Want to buy a tea towel from an Etsy New York maker. We have a few. Besides myself, there also is Titiluli, hand printed, simple and happy. My favorite might be the bumble bee.
Jenn Eng Studio has lovely, dainty sprint tea towels. Beautiful white and teal blue flowers in a cotton and linen blend.
When in doubt of what to give or need a little something extra, a tea towel will be a wonderful addition.