a journal of original drawings and screen prints of animals


Monday, November 04, 2013


Sparrow Avenue 2014 Year of the Horse Tea Towel

Saturday was lovely: all drizzly and overcast, not at all cold or damp like it can sometimes be in November. It reminds me so much of Algonquin, walking the trails in the drizzle means that you can smell the trees and leaves so much better. Then come back to a warm bowl of soup and bread. What could be nicer?

The linen tea towels offer some of that comfort too in that they have a homespun quality to them. Linen is such a perfect material in so many ways. Most people have the misconception that linen is a difficult and fussy fabric but really it's not. Wash it in cold or hot water, hang it to dry in the sun (linen loves the sun), or throw it in the dryer on a low setting (although dryers tend to "set" wrinkles) and remove it while it's still damp so that you can iron at the hottest setting on the wrong side. After ironing it's best to hang them so that any dampness can evaporate. Ironing gives it a fresh and  "new" look but it doesn't necessarily need to be done. 

The more linen is used, the softer and more absorbent it becomes.

Those old linen tea towels that can be found in second hand shops work just as perfectly as the day they were newly bought. In very old times launderers would lay their linens out in the fields for a dose of sun (which can decrease (and sometimes even remove)) stains. Laying them out in the snow on a sunny day also has this effect. If there are stains, don't use bleach. Try lemon juice or white vinegar with salt and lay the linen out in the sun.

"The Flemish Market and Washing Place" by Jan Brueghel
Linen is a natural fibre, made from flax and is the oldest known fabric. Some of it's other qualities are:
-resistance to fungus and bacteria
-resistant to the effects of UV light
-stronger than cotton
-due to its molecular structure it can absorb as much as 20% of its dry weight.

1 comment:

  1. Great horse drawing on your new tea towel and much appreciated information on linen!