Monday 16 April 2012

Tea Towels

I've been collecting souvenir tea towels for about 10 years now. I'm not sure what got me started...probably just the beautiful colours and images and the fact that there are just so many different ones out there!

I could always tell when an op shop had received somebodies collection as there would be a big stack all folded in the same way - straight out of the linen press. A collection gathered from here, there and everywhere on the holiday makers travels.

When I moved up to Ballarat just over a year a go now and I had to pack up my stash - the tea towel count was up around 400 - amazing really how it came to be that many...anyway as I packed them up and started to go through them I noticed that a part from my criteria of them being new and unused - there was a real assortment of designs - from stunning floral ones to kitsch animal ones and everything in between.

I'd had some ideas kicking around about some products I wanted to make with them under my Cast offs range but I new that I had collected more than I would ever use - so in the name of sharing the love I went through one by one and sorted out which ones I wanted to use for my new products, which ones I wanted to sell in the shop and which ones I would just hang on to and keep collecting for the moment (like calendar ones) when I had really decided what they were going to become (I think a quilt).

Today is a gloriously sunny day in downtown Ballarat and just the perfect day to haul out the next lot of gorgeous tea towels that are destined to become cushions. In order to get those super linen cupboard creases out I take them outside and swish them around in a big bucket of water - hang them on the giant clotheshorse I have and then whilst they are still damp, I iron them with the setting on linen. It seems to do the job pretty well and I don't  lose that stiff starchy quality that I like.

Stay tuned for the next batch of cushions - I know it's going to be hard to part with some of the tea towels especially the Australian native flora & fauna ones - they are my favourites. x


Frankie and Ray said...

Gorgeous! You know I love a good vintage tea towel too. Can't wait to see the new batch of cushions! xx

Susan said...

A fellow tea towel addict! I know exactly what you are saying about recognizing a fresh batch in the Op shops; they are always stiff from sizing, folded very neatly, never having seen the light of day for the decades they've spent in dark linen cupboard, never having dried one plate or spoon. I love them, especially the Irish linen ones.