For the past 10 years I have been mad about tea towels. Recently, I have noticed that tea towels aren't just for your old granny anymore. They have evolved into an art form for the kitchen, into eye candy for your home. Young artists have reinvented the humble linen tea towel and are using it as a canvas to display their clean graphic artwork in an affordable and utilitarian way.
Nicholas Gallery in Cincinnati is currently displaying towels contributed by contemporary artists the world over.
Etsy shop ower MrPS named this screen printed towel Ice Cream Lollies. MrPS is a resident of the UK and has many other designs for sale in his/her ? Etsy shop.
Heather of Skinny LaMinx is an artist who lives in Capetown, South Africa whose tea towel designs I have long admired. She just announced she has sold 1000 towels in her Etsy store. Heather used her love of 60s era coffee mugs to design this towel. If forced to choose, I would say that this is my favorite of her designs. Her wildflower designs are very beautiful too.
Heather's website features the vintage work of Pat Albeck, who she calls the "Queen of the Tea Towel." Albeck's website features her work from the 50s right up to today. Be sure to check her out if you love the genre.
Remember those hand stitched towels that our mothers used. Well, embroidery is making a come back and many vintage patterns like your mother sewed can be found at Sublime Stitching. My mother had the bee's of the week...a little bee performed some type of domestic chore for each day of the week. Mom cross stitched these on towels and put them away in her hope chest to await her first home.
A wide variety of charming towels printed on beautiful fabrics can always be found at Anthropologie. I have been known to haunt their sales looking for bargains on tea towels. The colorful way they put fabrics together inspired the design of the aprons I recently made for my granddaughters.
Alicia Paulson of Posy Gets Cosy has redesigned traditional days of the week embroidery patterns by bringing the design up to date for the modern home. She offers her patterns as a free download here.
Whole Flickr Groups are devoted to tea towel love. Check them out here.
So if you are mad about tea towels like me, then please explore all of these options and enjoy!