Vintage Linen Tea Towels

Vintage Linen Tea Towels

Linen tea towels are a kitchen’s delight. Did you know that linen dries faster than tea towels made from other fabrics?

Linen can last a lifetime, and if you’re asking me, I say it’s the way to go!

Source: The Kitchn

Here’s a look at some antique and vintage options that caught my eye.

Love these ones in plain white French linen.

Source: Heather Bullard Blog

Notice the tone-on-tone monogram? Monogrammed tea towels were very common back in the day!

And these antique linen tea towels will suit any decor with their slubby texture, and buff colour.

Source: Pale and Interesting

They are hand woven, and what’s so cool is no two are alike, because they are hand made.

It’s their unique imperfections that make them perfect, give them character and add to their appeal.

Source: A Beach Cottage

Wouldn’t it be the best day ever to stumble upon a stack of treasures like these?

Here, the linen tea towels you see are made from French grain sacks. I wrote about repurposing vintage grain sacks here, and the history of grain sacks here.

Source: Greenstead Boutique

The really great thing about these linen tea towels is their thickness. Not only are they incredibly durable, but they can be doubled over for a pot holder, and used for a trivet, too. And… in spite of their vintage, these repurposed grain sacks can be machine washed (at 60 degrees) and tumbled to dry!

The 2 blue striped vintage towels have been paired as a set.

Source: Found Style

If you love them, you’re in luck because they’re available to purchase! Found Style has a whole assortment of vintage items to choose from, and the tea towels are just a sampling.

These vintage purple striped tea towels have been home loomed, a craft that is no longer widely practiced, and a process that is very time consuming.

Source: Parna

If you look closely you can see some uneveness in the weave. This not only adds to the character of these tea towels, but also gives them a very special feel.

I love green! And look at the assortment of patterns here.

Source: Eddie Ross Blog

So cheerful, but functional, too! Did you know that linen is best for drying glasses and china? Can you guess why?

It’s because linen doesn’t leave any lint!

Linen tea towels…

Antique, vintage, or new.

Source: House & Home

They’re practical, and beautiful too!

Do you use linen tea towels?

I have a few older linen tea towels, but I’d love a collection of vintage ones. There’s something about them, their look and feel… And I’ve learned that for light stains and discolouration, Borax is a linen tea towel’s best friend. Test a small spot first to make sure your colours don’t run… and then soak your tea towel for a few hours in tepid water (some say to use distilled water) with a little Borax and a mild laundry detergent. Rinse and hang to dry. And of course… press out those wrinkles if you must 😉 



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11 thoughts on “Vintage Linen Tea Towels”

  • yes, they really look classy and dry lint free but ( must be me – another “but”) they are so difficult to iron and look terrible if you don’t ( old fashion me, could not put it away with out giving them a touch up)
    But I sure like the look of the things gone by

  • Very pretty! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I love how you use your articles to promote other great sites as well <3

    • Thank you, Danielle! This article was one of my favorites to write. And it’s always a bonus to find great sites along the way that I can share. There is just so much out there, I want to embrace it all! 🙂

  • My Mom has a lot of vintage linens she got from my grandmother’s house. Many are embroidered and crocheted – she’s got so much. I would really like to use them somehow but I also don’t want them to get ruined either. One day maybe I’ll have a chest or display case that I can have them nicely folded or something. There is something so neat about vintage linens.

    • Wow, Holly. You are so lucky to have these treasures still in your family. What keepsakes. I know what you mean about the embroidery and the crochet… many of my grandmother’s pieces were the same. Many table cloths, runners and pillow cases also had crocheted edges. I just love the attention to detail, and that this was all done by hand in those days. I have some of my grandmother’s pieces, but no where near as many as I remember from growing up. When I was writing this article I came across a great blog article about caring for and storing your vintage linen. Here’s the link in case you’re interested:

  • I too love vintage linens! I still am kicking myself for not going quick enough to a shop up the street that was going out of business a couple years ago and they were all sold out. I saw an idea I loved to display- they used a couple thin towel hangers and hung a few up on each rod. They looked great displayed like that!

    • Oh Kelly, what a bummer 🙁 As I write these articles I find myself reflecting on so many things that I took for granted growing up. Who knew then that I would be cherishing all that now? Funny how it comes round…

  • Vintage linens were all over the big Brimfield antique show last week. I LOVE them and you found such beautiful photos to showcase them.

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