A tea towel/cloth is a cloth which is intended for the specific use of drying dishes, accessories and cutleries after wash. Clean tea towels are also used in Kungfu Tea Ceremony to spread over a tea tray before tea being put onto it. Alternatively, it may be used to cover a tea pot to prevent heat loss.
This item is small in size, but without including it in the ceremony may make it incomplete. If properly match with the function, it may add colour/significance to the tea ceremony.
There are several type of fabrics used for making tea tower/cloth. Linen is the conventional fiber used for tea towels. It is not only used to remove stains during or after preparation tea, but is also used to ensure a well balanced seasoning of a teapot or tray. This fabric is preferred because it helps to dry the delicate plates and silverware without the risk of scratching.
In general, tea towels are made with a simple weave, rather than a looped terry, with a hand towel size. Tea towels made from cotton are not uncommon. Moreover, a cotton tea towel tends to be much less costly, making it suitable for daily use.
In some cases, a tea towel is woven in a pattern and in other cases, it may be decorated with paint or embroidery.
A tea towel is usually kept spotlessly clean. This is because it is either used on freshly washed utensils or tray. When the tea towel becomes damp, it is hung up to dry. It will also be periodically washed for better sanitation. It is different from a dish rag, which is used to wash dishes and wipe counters. Some people prefer dish rags to sponges, since they can be frequently washed to cut down on bacteria.
Decorative tea towels are commonly sold as souvenirs. They are basically designed to be hung on a wall or displayed in a frame. These tea towels are from old fashioned hand embroidered linen to plain cotton tea towels with garish paintings of famous landmarks/poems.
Apart from being used for their intended purpose, they are also kept for ornamental rather than practical reasons. Travelers, especially, may bring back these tea towels for friends, or keep them as a memorial of the trip.
Tea towel is also relatively easy to make. Absorbent cotton or linen can be cut down to size and hemmed to prevent stray threads. Ambitious sewers can embroider the resulting tea towel, or leave it plain. Whether you buy them or make them, a stack of fresh tea towels is a useful thing to have in a kitchen, since they can be used to cover hot foods, dry dishes, and perform other kitchen tasks.
At time of writing this article, I am sipping on coffee. What are you sipping on this afternoon? You may use the tea towel for your tea time too.
Hope you do enjoy reading this article. Stay tune and more are in the pipelines for your reading pleasure.