Beyond Drying Up: Six Alternative Uses for a Tea Towel

We’ve previously discussed the many uses of a tea towel beyond drying the dishes. But several of our customers have since come up with more adventurous ideas. Alternative applications for the humble tea towel have in fact existed since the rise of its initial popularity in the 18th century as a tool to dry the bone china dish sets of the English upper classes.

Here we give a rundown of a few more ‘radical’ uses for the kitchen tea towel:

  1. As a shepherd’s head dress in your child’s nativity play

Normally better to use a striped or cross-hatch design for this one… unless these shepherds are devotees of the anarcho-syndicalist movement, of course.

  1. As a flag at a demonstration

Shepherd or not, there’s nothing preventing you from attaching your tea towel to a stick and using it as an alternative to those socialist worker placards at your typical demonstration.

  1. As a canvas for your next Van Gogh imitation

Strapped for cash and unable to get his brother Theo to send him more canvas quickly enough, Van Gogh resorted to the tea towel as a base for his creative genius. Some tea towel paintings date from Van Gogh’s time in the mental asylum at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole in Saint Rémy de Provence, and it is speculated they came from the asylum’s kitchen. Later works were painted on tea towels with a red border, possibly from the kitchen of the Auberge Ravoux in Auvers, the small village to the north of Paris where Van Gogh spent the last two months of his life before shooting himself.

  1. Wrapping a bottle of your favourite red

Wine bottle wrapped in tea towel

Forget the cardboard gift bags, next time give a bottle of wine wrapped in a tea towel. Once the wine has been happily finished, your host will still have the tea towel to recall your visit.

  1. Wrapping a bottle of your favourite white

Quickly chill a bottle of white by wrapping it in a damp tea towel and putting it in the freezer for a few minutes before dinner. For champagne socialists this could also be a useful little trick.

Champagne wrapped in tea towel

  1. New weapons in the fight for the bedroom

Avoid the feathers going everywhere by staging a tea towel fight rather than using pillows. They’re quite flexible so you should be able to give someone a good thwack on the bum.

Aware of any more wacky uses for a tea towel? Let us know by commenting below!

Author: radicalteatowel

This is the blog of The Radical Tea Towel Company. We'll be writing about politics, inspiration and tea. Check out our website, www.radicalteatowel.com , when you get a moment, for some unique political gift ideas.

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