Ladies and Gentleman, as the woman in charge of domestic affairs both here and abroad, it has come to my attention that the humble tea-towel is about to go the same way as our dearly beloved Dodo, i.e., extinct!
Due to the prevalence of dishwashers in even the most vintage of kitchens, it seems that homemakers across the land are abandoning these little fabric works of art, in their droves.
But tell me this and tell me no more: What are these people drying their hands on? Polishing their silver and glassware with? Do they abandon every item of crockery they own in the dishwasher and leave it there to rot till they remember to turn it on? Would they never dream of filling the washing up bowl with hot, soapy tangerine suds and scrubbing the breakfast dishes clean, ready for polishing them to a sparkle with a crisp Irish linen cloth? Don’t people know how to enjoy themselves anymore??
Too many questions and not enough tea-towels.
Now I love my dishwasher as much as the next woman. I would go as far as to say it changed my life. But I love tea-towels just as much. Who wouldn’t love that souvenir map of Llandudno towel your Nana brought you back from Wales? Who doesn’t feel a tiny thrill when you see a neat little pile of freshly laundered glass cloths? Who, in their right minds, doesn’t appreciate the the sheer quality of beautifully embroidered linen tea-towels?
They are lovely. One of the very few ways to bring fabric in all its flowery glory into the kitchen. Yes, they are deliciously old-fashioned, but in the frugally challenged, miserable kitchen, nothing brings a little bit of cheer like a new set of cherry striped traditional glass towels.
We can’t let it happen. We can’t let tea-towels go to the great linen cupboard in the sky. This is an order: Go out and buy a new set of tea-towels. Then do with them what you will:
Cut up your old ones and make a patchwork tablecloth.
Thread them onto cafe rods for sweet little curtains.
Upholster your kitchen chairs with scrumptious stripy cooks tea-towels.
Sew three or four together in a loop, then thread onto a paper towel holder, for a permanent rolling hand towel.
Sew two together, add a ribbon drawstring and use as a peg-bag.
Make a cushion from one too delicate to use.
Cut them into triangles and make bunting.
Line baskets with them.
Hell, you could even dry the dishes with your favorite!
The campaign to SAVE OUR TEA-TOWELS starts here!