Saturday, March 15, 2014

Linen dry quicker by Lochness

Linen dry quicker by Loch Ness, which I'm sure they do. But for our purposes I'd like to talk about tea towels.

 Tea towels come in all shapes and sizes, made from fabrics such as cotton, terry towelling and linen. They are printed or woven and have all manner of patterns and designs on them. Do a search on Google images for tea towels and you will find an endless supply to look at. Do a search on vintage tea towels and you will find even more.
Nearly everyone has tea towels, and I'm sure that most people have a favourite that they go back to again and again. I have a few favourite Irish linen tea towels.

When my great aunt on my father's side passed away I inherited some of her linen's. One day a couple of years ago I was going through the pile of these linen's and I came across some old Irish linen tea towels.

These tea towels are aged, have a few stains here and there, and even a hole or two but overall have a fine quality to them. They are woven with coloured stripes and a message that is quite quirky, which says " linen dry quicker by Lochness".

"Linen dry quicker by Lochness" conjures for me a mental image of clotheslines full of antique linens flapping in the breeze by that famous body of water Loch Ness. A romantic image by any means, but totally at odds with the use of a tea towel for drying dishes.

These tea towels are huge measuring 29" x 22.5". They are thicker than normal tea towels, very absorbent and do dry quickly! I can't really explain why these tea towels appeal to me so much -  it could be that one of my fore bearers used them, it could be the quirkiness, or that they are big and dry a lot of dishes before they get really wet. A long search on the Internet did not supply me with any details about them. There was the odd bit of history about linen and a very short history of tea towels but I could not find anything about these particular tea towels.
Going on guesswork I think my great aunt had them from the 60s or 70s as a lot of her linen seem to come from this period.
If you do have any information about these tea towels please let me know.
I have been using them for about two years now and they are a firm favourite amongst my vast tea towel collection for drying dishes, covering food, and mopping up the odd water spill on the bench, plus I do enjoy looking at them.

Do you have a favourite tea towel that you use in preference over other tea towels? Tea towels come in handy for so many things. You can wrap food in them, use them as placemats, use them in place of wrapping paper, decorate the walls with them, make bags, cushions, curtains and aprons with them, and of course dry dishes with them.


Demon Lily said...

There is so much soul in objects with a past life. I still use my Grandmother's plates and they are part of the family!
I prefer woven tea towels as opposed the terry towelling and God forbid, microfibre! Mostly because I am not a fan of fluff. Loved this post and so nice to see you pop up on the blog roll. x

Fiona@Dragonfly-Sewing said...

Love your tea towel story. I hang my pretty tea towels so the family don't use them and dirty them :)

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