If your kitchen is looking a bit tired, there's a great way to give it a lift without the expense of a makeover or the mess of a weekend painting project. Simply add a splash of personality to your space by displaying screen printed (Australian made) cotton or linen tea towels.
With eye-catching patterns and graphic designs, screen printed tea towels are the perfect statement piece. Get ready to cook, entertain, and create in style!
Practicality as well as style
Screen printing on tea towels is typically done with high-quality materials such as cotton or linen as this ensures they are long-lasting as well as good-looking. Organic cotton or linen tea towels can be used for drying dishes, wiping up spills, and protecting surfaces from heat or scratches. The absorbent nature of linen or cotton ensures that they quickly soak up moisture, leaving your dishes and countertops clean and dry. They wash well too and become softer with use.
Even if your kitchen is not used for cooking, these tea towels will look great just hanging around.
Using quality tea towels will make everyday tasks more enjoyable.If you love entertaining guests in your kitchen, screen printed tea towels can serve as great conversation starters. Drape one over the back of a chair, or on the counter while you're serving drinks. People like to know the story behind favourite objects and screen printed tea towels are usually handmade by local artists who express themselves through their work.
Find your style
This type of tea towel is not your common garden variety type, so let's think about how to match your style.
Consider your kitchen or dining room aesthetic and colour scheme, and decide whether you want a complimentary or contrasting style. Kitchens are often minimalistic (at least when they are tidy) so going for a bold, colourful statement is a sure way to create an impact.
And if you think it is hard to find unique, Australian-made tea towels as a gift, take a look at these beautifully drawn local creatures. You can see their unique personalities and immediately know the artist has created something special.
Tea towels are a good way to add visual interest to any space; hang them on the wall as well as on your oven door. They can be changed often and you don't have to worry about heat and moisture as you might with original art on paper. Australian tea towels typically measure around 50cm x 70cm, which is a good size for wall art.
Keep them looking good
Screen printing on tea towels results in a durable print. Cotton and linen, both absorbent and durable, are popular choices for screen printed tea towels. Cotton is soft and lightweight, while linen is known for a luxurious feel and its ability to soften over time. Whichever you prefer, follow these tips to keep them looking bright and fresh.
- Give your linen tea towels a quick wash before use as there may be some starch in the fabric. Likewise for cotton.
- Machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle without any bleach which could ruin the colours.
- Dry your screen printed tea towels outside in the fresh air if possible. Alternatively, tumble dry on a low heat setting.
All our cotton and linen tea towels are made in Australia by local designers and artists. We seek out products from makers all over Australia to save you time when you're looking for something special for a favourite person or yourself.
Australian artists and makers whose work is shown on this page: Libby Watkins, Em Menzies, Me & Amber, Hamish and Buster, Kayla Reay.
The screen printing process
If you're not sure how screen printed tea towels are made, here's a quick overview.
- The artist or maker creates a drawing using their preferred medium (e.g. paint, coloured pencils) or by using a drawing program on a computer.
- The artwork is converted into a stencil. Sometimes this is done by hand, but more often a computer is used. For a piece with more than one colour, several stencils are created.
- The stencil is attached to a very fine mesh screen (traditionally made of silk but more modern ones are synthetic). Cloth is then laid under the screen and ink is pushed across the stencil so that some ink goes through the minute holes in the screen onto the fabric below, thus creating a design or patten on the cloth.
- The ink is set into the fabric, usually by applying heat to the material.
With apologies to somebody on the Internet, here's an illustration I found that will help you understand my explanation.