Thursday, March 7, 2013

Vintage Tea Towel Extravaganza

It's been a while, but they're back.

(it's amazing what a bit of home sewn ric-rac does to up the swoon factor)

I've been a bit slack on this blog as far as vintage tea towels are concerned...I find them, buy them, bring them home, wash and iron them, delight in their loveliness and stick them in a plastic storage crate in the shed. Not even a photo taken. 

I know, what kind of self-proclaimed vintage tea towel lover am I?!

(Honestly, I really do love them. I'm not a vintage tea towel loving phony. I'm a vintage t.t. lover short on space! Promise.)

(gotta love a vintage comedy tea towel, right?)

I have been wracking my brain, thinking of something beautiful and useful to do with them which doesn't involve going near them with a pair of scissors! I cannot bring myself to cut into them. Humble as I know they are, I just can't do it! 
(although I love my tea towel cushions from Zara and Leah). 

So far, all I've come up with, is to use them for the purpose they were designed for...drying the dishes.
Nothing wrong with that, but if you've got a more creative idea, please send it my way. I'm looking forward to your suggestions.

(btw, what do you think of a vintage t.t. book? would you stick one on your coffee table?)

Anyway, here are my most recent acquisitions. Some found by me, and others gifted by lovely people who read this blog. 

 from Alison of Just Underneath

from Sue (given to me because of the violets, of course!)

 from sweet Taz of Butter and Buntings

(crochet edging, it moves me in a similar way to ric-rac) 

I'm particularly fond of this one. I know it's a bit drab compared to some, but I like its sentiment, and I've learnt something new from its discovery too...I wasn't aware of The Home League - a weekly women's group run by The Salvation Army, until I found it, were you?

I like the reference to the "old warrior" via

A trio of cuties to end:

another gorgeous t.t. from Taz

and two from Curtise and her littlest darling*

* who also sent me this amazing drawing

which I LOVE!

p.s. I hope there aren't too many pics for you, but I knew it was now, or never!


  1. TT book definitely! I recent bought the 'Milkbar' book. Images of Melbournes Milkbars, love it!
    Do it! xx

  2. I don't usually get in first on the commenting, usually days late! It's nice to get the front row at this gig! I'm glad you find these TT's and others so generously share them with you because I allways have a gander for you and have never come across a worthy one!
    I will keep looking and go now...hogging the commenting box now! xx

  3. I once bought my friend a Hawaiian shirt book. A TT book trumps that by far!! Start writing it!

  4. After a TT with a map, my next favourite is a TT with a calendar!
    Have to restrain myself from rifling throught the kitchen drawers when we go up north to see Mr AP's Mam.

  5. Those are lovely i really do like the flower ones and those last 3 are really sweet. You should maybe photograph every one you have and make a catalogue of them you could always join them all together and make the worlds largest patchwork you wouldnt have to cut them ;-) That would take hours but wow what a talking point ;-) dee xx

  6. Thanks for mentioning me! Some of those tea towels are just amazing! I wouldnt cut them.Perhaps hang them in kitchen or use as curtains on small windows or patch together to make a picnic rug? xx

  7. You're spoiling us, Kylie, and I'm loving it! Mmmmm, what to do with tts.....Stop putting them in that shed of yours for starters! I do use them - just as the manufacturers' intended. Otherwise, I suppose you could frame them. Having a whole wall of them might look good. A definte YES to a book of vintage tts - Do it! Do it! Do it. I'll stop chanting now. xx

  8. Gotta love a vintage tea towel and I wouldn't be able to cut them up either. Love your aussie ones which remind me of my trips there,
    my aussie one was bought in 1990 so I don't think it qualifies just yet. Please show us what you do with them.

  9. What boggles the mind is the endless variety of them. Astounding. And I think a TT book would be perfect coffee table fodder. I'd buy one just to marvel at it all. You'd never get tired of flipping through the pages.

    1. PS. I've seen vintage TT's framed and hanging on the walls of some Cath Kidston shops, alongside framed vintage tapestries. Looks very swish.

  10. The green Sydney t.towel would make the best cushion. paired with a green floral on the back. what do you think.
    a t.towel book sounds like an amazing idea.

  11. You did well Kylie! As you say, got to get them out there somehow before being banished to that shed box. Maybe posting pics is 'doing' something with them in itself. Me I'm loving "Australia, Sportsman's Paradise. You might like my post on same:

  12. So much tea towel joy!! Love them all - especially the your gifted ones. TT book sounds like a winner to me!! xx

  13. Ahh, the sunflowers and violets are lovely, and souvenir ones are always great.
    I like the idea of framing your favourites. It would be brilliant to have frames which you could get into to change the TT inside, so you could rotate your display. I have similar frames for LP sleeves, but fabric is a bit more tricky and needs to be stuck to a back board, I suppose.
    Anyway, I vote for display. And a book!
    Thanks for featuring Nina's picture of Owly, I'll show her when she gets in from school, she'll be so proud! xxxxx

  14. Put a link on your blog to a photo sharing website (we have flickr here, not sure if you have that in Australia). There you can put photos of your tea towel collection for others to view and join a tea towel group with other people who shared your passion.

  15. Never too many photos, Kylie, I love it when you post all these cute prints! A tea towel book is a wonderful idea!! Large full bleed photos, imagine all those wonderful colors and the smiles those prints bring out. Love that happy monk to the right, btw:-)

  16. I agree, not too many photos, I enjoyed all of them. Vintage tea towel book, great idea! Quick do it before Wayne Hemingway does.

    I do like the idea of cushions, but, like you, would find it almost impossible to bring those scissor blades together. I'm with you on the ric rac and crochet edging. Adorable.

    You have some great tea towels, no doubt about it! xxx

  17. Oh oh I was so happy to see more vintage tea-towells!!!!!
    Just love them.
    Love V

  18. Its nice to see your tt's are back. I did have a chuckle re. them heading to the shed. I'm always on the lookout for you, but never see any!

    I think the book idea is great! Or even a calender. I am sure you could come up with something fab! Tam x

  19. I think it would be amazing if you had a whole wall of framed tea towels. I can just picture all the gorgeous floral ones you have. And a book would be great. I think you should compile one, I really do!

  20. Completely gorgeous - I would definitely buy a tea towel coffee book. I confess to an addiction to looking at the Tea Towel Lady's site (

  21. Your collection is incredible Kylie, can only imagine the wonders of your shed! mel x ps I think Dana's idea of a whole wall of tea towels is pretty cool.

  22. My late grandmother (she died over 30 years ago)used to crochet around the edges of tea towels with a very fine crochet hook and sell them to make money for the "missions"!

  23. Oh you have my birth year! i have never been able to find a tt from my birth year! How adorable is the last tea towel!

  24. thanks for sharing more of The Collection. loved them all. What to do with them? always a good question. I used some in the kitchen, rest I had in tubs too. But I sold a lot on eBay as I had a few too many. Still have some, and I can't resist a new, crisp never used 10+yr old teatowel in an oppie.

  25. Feck me, you've got some pearlers!!!
    I especially love the Tassie one!
    I have only a couple, nothing as good as these, and I use all bar one for dishes. The one that I don't use really is quite nice, and I'm thinking I'll make a handbag with it, as I have some vintage bamboo handles someone gave me. Getting around to it is another thing, though!!! XXX

  26. Love the first one esp. Did you see Country Style mag a while ago, someone had a few vintage Australiana TT hanging under the kitchen sink instead on cupboard doors.They were held on a string/wire? with those old paper clipboard clamps, I guess you could change your TTs around regularly that way. Curtain, lined shower curtain??

  27. I adore these posts and I love the flower ones!

  28. Oh yes, I can totally see a TT coffee table book. Pitch it now, quick, quick! We'd all buy it, you'd have to sign it of course.

    Some kind of wall hanging/room divider/patchwork curtain?


  29. oh...kylie!what a delightful post! i love vintage tea towells..and have quite a few.i particularly love the one sent by my lovely sis in law taz, and all the aussie ones!i think im gonna start collecting aussie vintage tea towells....yes!

    thanks for the inspiration

    mezz xx

  30. i forgot to add....i have a long family history with the salvation army and know all about home league...when i was little i would sometimes go along to the local home leauge and sing for the women there....such sweet memories now x

  31. kylie! i've got it!
    there have been crazier things... but ah!
    open up a museum!

  32. OMG such tt extravagance Kylie!!
    I bought a tea towel tablecloth: someone had sewn 6 together: you could sew heaps together for a curtain, wall hanging etc
    I also have some hanging on skirt hangers at my kitchen window over my reg curtain, so not even sewing for that!