The role of the kitchen towel cannot be overemphasized. Tea towels are a particular preference for both domestic and professional chefs. These towels are especially loved for their lint-free nature, making them ideal for fast-paced kitchens.
You can use them to hold the pot, clean floor spills, and stains, dry kitchen utensils, and even wipe down large kitchen equipment. In commercial eateries, kitchen towels may even be inserted into baskets for use as bread warmers.
Commercial chefs that already understand the significance of kitchen towels often tie them around their waists or place them on their shoulders for convenience and accessibility.
Among the many varieties of kitchen towels, it’s only the Tea Towel that comes with maximum utility.
What Are The Defining Features of The Tea Towel?
With many towels available on the market, it may be challenging to distinguish tea towels from other seemingly similar towels. Though most sellers often label their towels as kitchen towels, there are distinctive features you should look out for in a tea towel. The tea towel is typically made of linen, cotton, or weave.
The materials that tea towels are made of account for their durability and exceptional absorbency. But what truly makes tea towels perfect for busy kitchens is the fact that they leave no marks or lint on your utensils.
While shopping for a tea towel, ensure you don’t confuse it with another towel that’s commonly classified under the broader kitchen towel umbrella – the terrycloth towels. The terrycloth is essentially a hand towel, which makes it unideal for kitchen use.
The History behind the Tea Towel
Tea Towels may sound like the craze of the moment, but these towels have been with us from time immemorial. In ancient times, silks were considered the more convenient towels for use as cloth maps. One reason why silks were more preferred during times of war compared to other regular towels was their ability to be tucked away in a shoe. Besides, the towels could easily be sewn onto garments to avoid detection during the search of prisoners.
Most notably, ancient artists used tea towels as a blanket canvas on which to create their masterpieces. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the notable artists who often found tea towels handy for his paintings whenever he ran out of his usual canvas materials. In 2000, one of his most outstanding artworks ever sold was painted on a tea towel.
But what’s the secret behind the naming of tea towels?
The name tea towels must have been coined during the Victorian Era England, a period associated with the culture of serving tea in a social setting. During this era, tea was a popular beverage in nearly every social occasion. Families gathered together during teatime, be it early morning, midmorning, late afternoon, or even at suppertime.
The tradition of teatime was closely associated with royalty, especially after the queen introduced the order of the manor. So, as you may expect, tea servers utilized high-end china that required premium, durable, and presentable towels to handle. And that’s where the concept of tea towels started.
Besides the establishment of tea towels, the Victorian Era is also associated with the arts and crafts movement, the ascendancy of the novel, and organized feminism.
Further Popularization of Tea Towels
To serve a royal purpose, tea towels had to possess various distinctive characteristics. Some of these include softness, high absorbency, and lint-free qualities.
The ladies of the manors depended on these towels to dry their delicate serving set, without leaving lint on them or otherwise marring their beauty. Due to their lint-free properties, tea towels were the most presentable towels at the time. And they needed to be, as teatimes weren’t just social occasions but were also considered solemn, especially within the royal circles.
The towels were available throughout every ceremony, with the ladies of the manors using them to wipe down their serving set while also cleaning any spills and stains from the tables and floors.
As time went by, the royal staff uncovered more utilities to tea towels. Besides using them during teatime, the staff also experimented with their stitchery talents, occasionally hemming the towel edges or adorning them using crafty embroidery. Indeed, pastoral scenes of the English countryside are conspicuous in the Toile de Jouy. Ultimately, tea towels became even more alluring, which further enhanced their presentability and popularity.
How Americans Spurred the Popularity of Tea Towels
In ancient America, producers and grocers often packaged their foodstuffs, such as flour and sugar, in sackcloth as opposed to wooden barrels that were considered bulkier and less portable. But the portability of flour sacks wasn’t the primary reason why most traders preferred them to wooden barrels.
As the sacks were tightly-woven, manufacturers and sellers could advertise their offers by printing their products, names, or company slogans on the sackcloth. Homemakers, after using up the contents of the sackcloth, recycled the sacks for use as dish towels. These recycling ventures heralded the establishment of a cottage industry where women would barter their dish towels for other items.
Enterprising merchants saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. They hired professional artists who would design the best flour sacks. The logic was plain and simple – the more alluring a sack was, the more likely it was to attract buyers.
And as expected, traders were able to add value to their cornmeal, rice, sugar, and other cereals by packaging them in more presentable sacks. In the cottage industry, women also sought to leverage these newer and more beautiful sacks to add extra markups on their dish towels.
The industry remained stable and vibrant from the 1800s through the mid-1920s, surviving through the Great Depression and into the 1940s. However, the invention of plastic bags dealt a heavy blow to the industry, as traders abandoned the more expensive sackcloth for the cheaper plastic bags.
But amidst all these challenges, the concept of flour sack towel lived on today. The towels are famous for their high absorbency, softness, and lint-free qualities.
More about the Flour Sack Towel
The flour sack towel is one of the tea towels available on the market today. One of the primary uses of flour sack towels is polishing dishes and glassware. These towels also come in handy for wiping windows.
Compared to other tea towels, flour sack towels are relatively harder to come by. It’s even more difficult to find high-quality, durable, and aesthetically appealing flour sack towels. However, Sack Towels stocks a vast collection of flour sack towels that cater to the unique needs of different users out there.
The following are some of the reasons you should consider buying flour sack towels from Sack Towels.
- The towels are made of 100% premium unbleached cotton
- Ease of customization
- Professionally-hemmed edges
- Plain white, thereby blending with any décor
- Highly absorbent
- All-natural and soft; hence, you can use them on sensitive skin, such as a baby’s bum
- Machine-washable, which makes them easy to wash and dry
- Feature hanging loops sewn on their corners for ease of storage
- Highly thick and reasonably durable
- Come in a standard size of 27 x 27-inches
Sack Towels also prides itself in offering same-day shipping. To make the most of our flour sack towels, be sure to order in bulk. That way, you’re guaranteed excellent quality at terrific discounts.
Tea Towels Uncover the Numerous Functions of
Tea towels are extremely popular among homemakers as well as caterers, chefs, and most kitchen workers. What gives them an edge over other conventional kitchen towels is their infinite utilities.
The following are some of the possible ways you can use a tea towel;
- As a convenient hand towel
- For wiping counters and surfaces, either for preparation or cleanup
- As an apron
- For polishing glassware
- For squeezing out water content from certain foods, such as frozen spinach
- As a cover for proofing dough while it rises
- For making cheese
- As a strainer
- As a lettuce crisper
- For drying seeds or herbs
- For dehydrating fruit
- As a salad spinner, where you lay your greens, then roll them up gently while patting the towel lightly to absorb moisture
- As a liner for storing fruits and veggies in the refrigerator
- As a napkin or serviette at the dinner table
- For keeping certain foods, such as rolls, cakes, and bread warm and fresh while serving them
- As a liner for other foods, especially snack chips and baked goods
- As a stabilizer for use beneath the cutting board or for mixing bowls to hold them in place
- As a trivet or pad upon which you rest items right after taking them out of the oven
- As a hot pad or oven mitt for grabbing warm cutlery or pulling out items quickly from a hot oven
- As a drip cloth where you layout utensils to dry after washing them
- For wiping off any spills or stains on a plate or cup, making the service more presentable
- For washing produce
As tea towels come with many uses, it’s important to stock your kitchen with many of them. That way, it’s easier to assign each towel a specific function, which helps promote organization within the kitchen.
But tea towels aren’t limited to culinary chores. These towels are useful for a host of other household functions.
You can leverage the towels’ lint-free quality and remarkable absorbency to clean your mirrors and windowpanes.
The high absorbency of tea towels makes them popular among women who use them to dry their hair after a bath. The towels also come with incredible softness. That makes them ideal for use among people with sensitive skin, as well as for young babies. Moms can take advantage of the softness and absorbency of tea towels to use them as baby diapers. Still, on babies, you can use tea towels as burping cloths, as they don’t retain stains or smells.
Tea towels have also found their usefulness in carpentry. Woodworkers use these towels to clear carpentry of sawdust, making them ready for the application of stain and finish.
The absorbency of tea towels makes them ideal as workout towels. You can use them in the gym to soak up a sweat after sessions of intensive workouts, as well as for wiping down dust from gym equipment.
Lastly, tea towels are also popular with gun owners. Their softness makes them perfect for cleaning firearms.
Tea Towels for Craftspeople
Joining the growing list of beneficiaries of tea towels are craftspeople. Craftsmen and women use tea towels for a wide range of utilities.
The following are some of the ways you can get clever and crafty with flour sack towels.
If you’ve been wrapping your gifts using cheap and conventional packaging, it’s now time to replace them with the more exquisite tea towels. With a tea towel, you can customize the gift wrapping to suit the needs and personality of the recipient. You may consider printing a custom text, image, or the initials of the recipient’s name on the tea towel, and offer it along with the main gift.
You might also consider wrapping a cookbook in a tea towel while presenting it as a gift. You’d need to find tea towels that feature accent printing, such as checks and prints. And to make the towels stand out, you may embellish them with additional stitchery. Some of the stitchery you can experiment with include needlepoint, cross-stitch, or embroidery.
Since the tea towel comes in plain white, there’s no limit to how much stitchery you can embellish on these towels. It’s also an excellent way to travel back in time to where it all began. Remember that the Victorian Era royal staff often hemmed the edges of tea towels using decorative threads. If you’re looking to breathe some life into your tea towels. Still, in the spirit of reminiscing on the days gone by, you can personalize your tea towels with your name, custom text, company logo, or motto. That’s a way to take a trip down the memory lane and share in the struggles and exploits of ancient American traders who originated the flour sack towels.
And in case you’re averse to the idea of adding any fancy designs to your tea towel, you don’t need to fret. Presenting a gift wrapped in plain tea towels carries its own magic. Offering a plain tea towel to your near and dear ones is like an open invitation for them to go ahead and print their custom images or texts on the towel. What’s more – some people prefer the simplistic yet royal feel of plain tea towels.
At times, you don’t even have to present these towels alongside other gift items, as a tea towel is a gift in its own right.
Tea towels, besides serving as excellent gift ideas, also offer a platform where you can showcase your skills. The plain, white surface of these towels acts as a perfect background for putting your artistry talents to the test. Paint or print your favorite art on the towels and hang them on your wall or shop displays. The surreal beauty of these towels will surely blow your guests away while taking your home or office décor to new heights.
Are you a baker? Here’s your opportunity to serve your pie in a more presentable manner. After baking the pie, wrap it up in a tea towel. Then, draw corners up while laying the pie down on the flat towel. As soon as the corners are bound, you can easily carry your pie to whomever you’re serving it.
Tea towels carry a host of benefits, both in the kitchen and beyond. From wiping down utensils to serving as a painting background and even making for perfect gift items, there’s no limit to how much utility you can derive out of a single tea towel. Place your order today, and joint the list of users who are already leveraging the universality of tea towels.