Tea Towel Mastery: What You Need to Know!

Posted by Alex Johnstone on

It's all about the tea towel!


Have you ever wondered how the tea towel got its name?

The tea towel, still called a tea towel, got its name from Victorian Era England where they started having tea parties. Teatime went from just tea and biscuits to a fancy High Tea in the late afternoon/early evening.

Tea towels were designed to line tea trays and absorb spills while serving tea.   They would also have covered food to keep things fresh, and to keep flies away if tea was served outdoors.  Servants would hand sew the seams and embroider tea towels. Tea towels were a treasure. A treasure that was passed down from generation to generation as keepsakes.

As an artist like me maybe you have viewed your tea towels as a blank canvas, well you are not alone. Vincent Van Gogh used tea towels as a substitute for canvas when he ran out of materials. In fact, one of Van Gogh's paintings, a still life with flowers, was painted on a tea towel and was sold for a considerable sum at an auction in 2000.

Tea towels are an essential tool in any kitchen, thanks to their absorbency and lint-free material. However, they are also versatile and can be used for other tasks too.


Crafty people are the best people to make utilitarian use of many things. The tea towel for the craftsperson is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different ways. Here are some clever and crafty uses for tea towels: 

1. Use them as wrapping paper. Wrap a gift with a tea towel to make it part of the gift. Place a bottle of wine in a tea towel and roll it up. Draw the edges at the top like a collar and use ribbon to tie up the package. see how HERE    .   

2. Wrap a cookbook in a tea towel as a present. Giftwrap Japanese Furshiki style (wrapping objects in fabric)


3. Use tea towels as wall art. They make great canvases for your artwork and can be hung on the wall its cheaper than a painting!

4. Keep your buns warm from the oven, just line a bowl or basket with a tea towel and keep them warm until serving.4. Use a tea towel to carry a pie. Wrap the towel around the pie and draw the corners up to create an instant handle for travelling with your pie.

5. Use a tea towel to keep your salad fresh. After washing your leafy greens, lay them out on the towel and gently roll them up. Lightly pat the towel to absorb the moisture, then store them in the refrigerator inside the towel to keep them fresh and crisp.

6. Hang tea towels in place of traditional hand towels to add a splash of style and decor to your guest bathroom. Pick a pattern or symbol that matches the general theme of your bathroom.

7. For proving dough. Dip a tea towel in hot water and wring until nearly dry to cover the dough while it rises. The heat will help activate the yeast more quickly.

Tea towels are incredibly useful and once you start using them, you'll find yourself ensuring you have plenty in stock for all your needs. Try them out and you'll see how universally satisfying the humble tea towel really is.

So all you need to do now is check out mine!  My "Oh SO bright tea towelsare bound to put some colour in your home and a smile on your face!


Share this post

← Older Post