Friday, 24 January 2020

Tea Towels


I was using one of my tea towels yesterday ... although Alan does I rarely dry pots with them ... so in this instance it was my blue 'Egg towel' that was in use for catching spills of marmalade as I decanted from jam pan to jars on the worktop.  I'd rather sling a tea towel in the washer than spend ages getting the worktop unsticky-ed.  

I do dry up occasionally but they are mostly in daily use for a myriad of different things, including hand drying, lifting things out of the Aga and when they are not to be found hanging on the Aga they can turn up anywhere in the kitchen.

It suddenly hit me that I have been using these same three tea towels for a long time and I decided to look on my old blog for when they were gifted to me in return for a review.  It turns out it was way back in April 2011 - 

https://ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.com/2011/04/who-knew-tea-towels-could-be-so-lovely.html 


So ... they have been in daily use since then, that's almost 9 years … nine years!!

No wonder they are looking a little tired.  The blue 'egg' one is stained after a few too many spills of damson and blackberry jam making and so is now kept purely for this purpose.  The blue 'veggie' one is frayed at one edge where the seam eventually came undone, which is only to be expected ... imagine how many times these have been through the washing machine, it really can't be counted.  The cream coloured 'gardeners calender' one is just faded.

But they are all still in regular use and will continue to be for some time yet.  I love them to bits, once they have reached the end of their lives I guess they will briefly be floor cloths or tractor wiping cloths, but not yet.

Living simply means using what you have for as long as you can and only changing it when there really is no other option, and that's exactly what I intend to do with these old timers.


Sue xx


24 comments:

  1. My oldest tea towel is 30 years old, it is one that was made by my boys'primary school, the children in their class all drew a self portrait then the tea towels were printed off. I like to use it rather than have it put away in a drawer. I reuse as much as I can and cut up loads of things for rags, I can remember my Gran using her old airtex knickers for dusters, complete with gusset, they were huge and would make me smile when I used to help her clean the brass !. Happy days !

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    1. Oh, I had one of those tea towels from when my younger son was at primary school. I only got to use it for a few years and then he pinched it to take to Uni with him and I've never seen it since. I wonder if it's still in use … although knowing him he will be using it for wiping his paint brushes on :-(

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  2. Your post and Chrissie's comment above both made me smile. I have a drawer full of old tea towels and I too love them because they bring back memories - faded they might be and frayed at the hems, but all clean and ironed I use them and rotate them even though I also have a dish washer.

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    1. My tea towels are mere babies compared to Chrissie's. All the more reason to keep them in daily use.

      I learnt to iron by ironing my mum's tea towels and dad's hankies when I was very small. My mum would unplug the iron and then let me use it to press first the tea towels and then all the hankies as it cooled down. Unfortunately for them, my tea towels rarely see an iron, but I do fold them as soon as they come out of the washing machine and hang them to dry on the Aga and then finely folded up on top overnight to finish off before they go back into the drawer.

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  3. I'm running out of ideas for blog posts but you've given me an idea if you don't mind copy-cats!

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    1. Why how old are your tea towels 🤣🤣. Not at all, go for it.

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  4. My hand towels eventually end up in the cat's box as little blankets!

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    1. Aww, that's nice. Our bathroom towels end up as dog towels.

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  5. I have tea towels that are over 20 years old and still in use! My sister in law had some kind of party plan type thing and the only thing I wanted was the tea towels they were a pack of 6. They were lovely cotton towelling ones and I loved the pictures on them. Now I don't actually know what the pictures were as they are so worn and in fact you can just about see through them now! I don't know why I keep using them and don't just get rid of them, they wouldn't even be any use now as a cloth! I'm not that sentimental about them but I daresay in the near future they are likely to actually fall apart quite literally and then I'll have no choice but to get rid of them! x

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    1. Now that purchase was good value for money!! Mine aren't as bright as they were but I can still make out the pictures ... especially that egg 😄

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  6. And they are still pretty!!!!

    I use old hand towels, which were for drying hands in the bathroom. They are not lovely! lol And have faded, from being in clorox washings. But they still are usable. So like you say... Keep using items, for as long as they do-the-job! -smile-

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    1. Yep, I'll keep on using them for as long as they let me … :-)

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  7. My kitchen towels never last that long! The good ones last several years but become dusters or rags before nine years. I do wash them with bleach and that probably shortens their life. Yours are very cute!

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    1. It probably is the bleach, I just lob mine in with the bathroom towels on a hot wash every week and occasionally on a normal wash with other things if I remember to throw them in.

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  8. I remember these! You've definitely gotten good use out of them. My oldies go to cleaning or the cat and I tend to keep things til they fall apart.

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    1. Considering it's just the two linen ones in rotation for daily kitchen use and the egg one, which is pure cotton, that is used for other messy catching jobs they really have done well haven't they :-)

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  9. Some of my tea towels were my Mum's and she has been gone 18 years. When my Mum used to go somewhere she used to buy a tea towel, so I have lots of tea towels from different places, Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, Wales etc. Helen S.

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    1. Wow, that is good usage. I do have one that my Mum and Dad bought back from Gretna Green, when they got married for the third time, but it's got a picture of a Scottish Piper on it and as it looks just like Alan I have never brought myself to use it … yet!!

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  10. I collect tea towels. Currently have over 130. They are all in rotation (well the Christmas ones are only used from Dec 1 to Jan 15).

    The longest a tea towel lasted was 38 years. The start of my collection were a set from my Auntie in Australia as part of my wedding present. All souvenirs of Australia and all 100% linen.

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    1. Gosh, that must be a big stack to rotate from .. haha. But using them this way obviously makes them last, 38 years must be a record!!

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    2. The collection only got serious in the last five years, lol. I've lost a few to my sons when they left home to start their homes (they took the ones with recipes printed on them)

      They don't take up much room. There are about a dozen in the kitchen clean linen shelf and the rest are in a formerly empty cupboard in the laundry room. When they are washed and ironed, they are rotated back into the "store" and a new dozen come out.

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  11. I must be very hard on my tea towels. I am lucky if they last three years!!

    God bless.

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    1. But thinking about how relatively cheap they are to buy, and the fact that they are in daily use even that is good, really good.

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