What Is The Difference Between A Tea Towel And A Kitchen Towel?

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

What Is The Difference Between A Tea Towel And A Kitchen Towel?


The name “tea towel” looks like a fancy word for “dish towel,” but they are different. When you look at them carefully, you will analyze so many differences. But what is the difference between “tea towel” and “dish towel”?

First, let’s start with the history of “tea towel.”

Tea towels originated in England in the 18th century. These towels are made of soft, fluff-free linen and are absorbent. The house hostess will use them to dry exquisite porcelain and exquisite tea sets. These towels can also be used while drinking tea. They are often wrapped around teapots to insulate and prevent indecent dripping. This is the origin of the “tea towel.” And the “tea towel” mentioned here is the current “dish towel” (if you are interested, you can read this article History of Tea Towel)


During the Great Depression, there was another evolution of tea towels in the United States. During this period, funds were scarce, so resourceful homemakers would cut out cloth bags and embroider them into towels and began to sell their products with flowers or other good patterns on the cloth bags. As a result, tea towels have more functions other than the original functions, such as decoration. This is how we now have the “tea towel.”


1. The difference in function:

In most cases, the current tea towel is more like an ornament or even a work of art, while the dish towel is the actual towel that meets the needs of washing or drying in the kitchen.

2. Different materials:

Tea towels are usually made of linen or cotton cloth, especially 100% cotton cloth. The printed pattern has higher definition and color saturation. They are often embroidered or printed with fashionable designs or texts to enhance their charm and decorative functions.

Dish towels are often made of absorbent fabrics to satisfy their water absorption function.

3. The production process is different

People now prefer the fashionable characteristics of tea towels and print them with exciting patterns, sayings, or calendars to decorate furniture. To make the pattern of the tea towel more beautiful, it is usually made by active digital printing technology. Compared with ordinary printing methods, reactive digital printing is more environmentally friendly, the color of the printing is brighter, and the color fastness is higher. At the same time, it introduces the customized production of small batches.

(If you are interested, you can read this article How to Distinguish Between Reactive Printing and Paint Printing?)

Dish towels are produced in batches in large factories. As a result, the product styles are monotonous and uniform, the patterns are repetitive and straightforward, and there is no personality.

Tea towels are now not a necessity in all kitchens. Therefore, you may not need a tea towel that can be used for years. However, once you know the existence of tea towels and see how cute all the printed designs are, you may find it hard not to pay attention to them. Fortunately, there are many ways to use tea towels and get enough of them to make them worth the money.



Hi, I’m Nolan, the funder of [blancteatowel.com], I’ve been running a factory in China that makes digital printing tea towel for 10 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to digital printing tea towel from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

Ask For A Quick Quote!

We will contact you within 1 working day, please pay attention to the email with the suffix “@blancteatowel.com”