Their versatility and widespread popularity have taken them to other rooms of the house where they serve a variety of purposes. Displayed as wall hangings, draped over a hook as guest towels, or layered over a café rod on a window, tea towels lend a vintage and keepsake sense to a room. In the kitchen, they carry on the tradition of drying fine china and crystal, or they hang on a rack, waiting to be put to work. On the dining table, tea towels can double as linen napkins. In the powder room, they serve as fingertip towels for drying the hands. And in any room of the house, they can be framed or draped to add color or to preserve a memory.
Brand new or well used, a hand-painted or stitched tea towel heightens the sentiment of a housewarming gift when wrapped around a loaf of homemade bread or included as a lining for a basket filled with cookies. Passing along the tradition of tea towels is, after all, what makes them timeless.
Johnson Brothers Indies teapot, sugar bowl, and flat cup and saucer from a private collection.
From Teatime Favorites 2013
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