Tea towel vs Dish towel

Tea towel history: tea master's best friend

People have always considered tea to be a magical beverage that was driving away sleep and helping to maintain spiritual vitality. They knew that tea softens the heart, awakens the mind, removes fatigue, eases and refreshes the body, sharpens receptivity.

Tea possesses a unique stabilizing and healing effect; it also stimulates the metabolism, normalizes the heart’s activity, slows down the process of cell aging and therefore contributes to longevity.

Drinking tea in the East, especially in China and Japan, is a very ancient tradition. Tea culture and the traditional tea ceremony are inseparable from the art of these countries and the whole way of life. The ceremony is filled with details, various execution tools and materials - from durable clay that holds heat to a well-absorbing fabric.

One such tool is a tea towel. And although a tea towel may seem to be non-essential, it can sometimes offer a deal of great help. While it is convenient to use such towel during the tea ceremony - when you need to blot a cup or wipe off small droplets - it also is very useful in everyday life. However, do not confuse such a towel with a kitchen towel or a rag. Tea towel should not be used to wipe trays or dirty table surfaces.

English Ladies: what are tea towels for?

In Europe, a tea towel (also called a “dishcloth” or “dishtowel”) was intended for drying dishes in the kitchen. In some sources, the term “glass towel” can also be seen. Traditionally, the best material for tea towels is either linen or cotton, but never - terrycloth.

Some evidence suggests that tea towels first appeared in the 18th century, in England.

Tea towels are also mentioned in some home-care manuals as tools used by housewives to dry delicate porcelain tea sets — such work was considered too important to trust servants with it. Tea towels were also often used so that the housewives would demonstrate the embroidery skills.

What are some tea towel uses today?

After all, in our modern time of multifunctional household items, a stack of clean tea towels can do much more than just dry dishes. And since many people no longer use disposable paper towels, a tea towel can be a great multi-purpose assistant in every kitchen.

Here are some ideas for non-standard use of tea towels:

• As a napkin or placemat

• Between pots and pans to prevent scratches

• Dry fresh greens and herbs

• Line bread basket or tray

• Cover food to keep it warm

• Place into the fridge vegetable compartments

• Under the cutting board to prevent slipping

• Wrap gifts

• As baby bib

For tea houses, delicate tea sets of the Victorian era or in your kitchen today at noon - a tea towel will show itself as a worthy helper.