Daily Archives: December 2, 2009

Thoughts on Tea Towels

I’ve just finished constructing two linen tea towels.  Hemmed by hand with neat mitred corners and a simply appliqued stripe of linen ribbon across one end.  These are for me 🙂

This cloth (towelcloth in off-white), was a spur of the moment add-on to my order from Linnet.  It’s a ‘thick and thirsty’ fabric, good for drying a sink full of dishes and wiping down the benches afterwards.

I’m very pleased with the appliqued ribbon; such a relief to abandon the blackwork embroidery idea I was labouring under for a day or so.   I got a whole lot of enjoyment from working with the fabric and seeing the final product come together with the stitched detail using the full six strands of DMC linen embroidery thread in Ecru.

The fabric I bought for the swap tea towels, Linnet Natural Flax Biz, is much finer which would be good for printing onto if that’s what I decide to do.  But as a tea towel? I think this fabric will make a good towel for polishing glassware and wiping hands. Probably a good towel for people who are firm believers in the dishwasher.  People like me 🙂

I don’t know about the rest of you, but for most of my life the only linen fabric I had encountered was the tourist souvenier tea towel, printed with something like ‘Greetings from New Zealand’ and hung over a rail in my Nan’s kitchen.  These towels were stiff and seemed to smear the water around rather than soaking it up; such a different beast from my recent linen experiences.

Since I live within Australia’s most famous National Park I’m toying with the idea of printing up my own ‘tourist tea towel’ with a Kakadu iconic animal (crocodile?) or plant (pandanus?) and ‘Greetings from Kakadu’ splayed across the bottom.

But really.  Would it give me (and the recipient) as much satisfaction as a hand hemmed towel with some sublimely simple stitching detail? Or (and I am worried about this), would the participants be dissapointed that my contribution was a tea towel with a few poxy lines of stitching?

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