Secrets of an Exceptional Dish Towel

Secrets of an Exceptional Dish Towel

Admit it, you sometimes play favorites, don’t you? It’s true, we all do it…because the truth is…not all kitchen textiles are created equal. It’s likely you have some dish towels that seem to always get pushed to the back of the drawer and never see the light of day, while others are in constant rotation. We’ve created a little Q&A to offer insight on the secrets of an exceptional dish towel – so you have an idea of just what to look for when you’re in the market for new options.
Q: How do I choose a dish towel?

 First and foremost, always insist upon dishtowels that are made from natural fibers. Since you’ll be using and swapping out your kitchen towels on a daily basis and need to wash them quite frequently, look for durable fabric that will hold up really well over time. Once you’ve covered the basics, then have some fun with selecting styles that accent your kitchen, reflect your personality or have something to say

Q: What are the best dish towels for drying?
A: Depending on what you are drying, you may want to have a couple of different options on hand to get the best results for the job. Cotton terry is a very thirsty, durable fabric and it will do an excellent job of drying lots of dishes, pots, pans and countertops. If you are handwashing and drying glassware or even doing windows, you will likely be more pleased with the results you get from the very low-lint fabric, such as what is used to make flour sack towels.

Q: What is the best fabric to use for dish towels?
A: 100% cotton is an excellent fabric for absorbency – the whole purpose of a great dishtowel. According to Cotton Inc., cotton fabric is able to absorb up to 27 times its own weight in liquid water! You have a lot of options for all-cotton fabrics that will perform beautifully, so we suggest selecting fabrics that fit the style of your kitchen. If your taste leans a little retro, consider a fabric with lots of lovely texture like waffle weave. If your home has more of a farmhouse-style vibe, you can’t go wrong with casual flour sack material. For those who prefer sleek lines and simplicity, we recommend a nice, thick high-quality cotton yarn towel with beautifully hemmed edges.

Q: What kind of dish towels do chefs use?
A: Whether you’re a pro working in a restaurant or you’re more pro-lific in a home kitchen, your dish towels are one of your most important tools. A well-made, durable dishtowel is a key kitchen accessory for anyone who spends any time cooking. Chefs typically look for all-white or mostly white options when handling food so it’s very easy to spot when towels get soiled and need to be replaced with clean ones. Chefs look for large dish towels, because they use them for everything from covering food and crushing ice to serving as an anti-slip device for large cutting boards. We know many professional chefs use their towels to handle hot pans or plates, but our safety-minded team at Sticky Toffee can't really recommend this practice for the home cook.  As towels get soiled or wet, the risk of getting a nasty burn escalates dramatically.  Instead, we suggest a well-designed oven mitt or pot holder –  and make sure to keep it dry and clean!
Now that you’ve got the skinny on some of the ways to choose what is just right for your kitchen, you can set those back-of-the-drawer towels free and release them to the top of the garage sale pile. Happy shopping!