See this photo of my tea towels?
I once loved these tea towels. All the more so because they looked so old fashioned.
Last year when we went overseas, we found ourselves at a huge antique fair in Newark. It was at this fair that I came across these tea towels.
I bought them because I thought they looked "French".
Now, I am not exactly why I thought they looked "French" as opposed to "British" or "Australian".
Perhaps it was that the stall holder was French. I then assumed that the tea towels would be from the same place as her.
I also presumed they were old. Seeing as I did buy them from an antique fair. But we all know that looking old does not not mean something is actually old.
But one thing I can tell you that they were was stiff. Stiff and rigid and hard and like cardboard.
But that was okay because I figured that they were old and possibly had been starched. I also assumed that once I got them home and washed, the stiffness would go and I would be left with lovely, cream French looking tea towels with some stripes on them.
When I got them home, a friend saw them and said "oh, how gorgeous. they look so French".....
Then she said "they are a bit stiff".
I have never, ever owned a more useless bunch of tea towels in my life. All thirteen of them stayed as rigid as a piece of fabric could for a long as it could. Despite hot washes, cold washes, vinegar washes, soaking them in all sorts of softening agents, those stupid tea towels refused to give in for ages.
Honestly, although I know they are just plain old cotton, I am beginning to think they are made from some sort of secret industrial canvas cut up to look like French tea towels for unsuspecting tourists to buy. They would certainly have done well enough being used as deck chair fabric.
Oh, and they just have to be ironed. Because not only are they stiff, they also crease like hell after drying on the clothesline. Or in the dryer. Or on the indoor clothes horse. And ironing those creases out requires great heat, even greater steam and full body pressure from above. Plus a soaking of linen water to soften them up a bit more.
But once ironed and folded nicely, they look so lovely in the linen cupboard.
Now, eighteen months later, after many, many stinking hot washes, they are finally soft enough to dry something properly. Well, almost. I would keep away from glassware for another two years.
They look French.