kitchen linen buyers guide

Cutting through the jargon, the main things to consider when buying kitchen linens.

Kitchen Linen Buyers Guide

With what seems like endless choice, how do you buy the right kitchen linens to suit your lifestyle and application? Below we outline some of the main pointers.

Buying Luxury Kitchen Linen

Types of Kitchen Linens

Tea Towels: Tea towels can vary in size, material and colour. Their function is to dry dishes quickly and effectively and polish glassware to a high sheen. They’re absorbent, hardwearing and can be coordinated to match your kitchen interior.

Polishing Cloths: Polishing cloths are traditionally used to dust wooden surfaces and bring out the shine in jewellery, furniture and kitchenware. They are often made from a soft cotton which will prevent smudging and watermarks without the need for rigorous rubbing or swabbing.

Cleaning Cloths: Cleaning cloths include everything from dishcloths and floor cloths to window scrims. Their purpose is to clean dishes and kitchenware, any surfaces in the kitchen, appliances, windows and floors.

Everything you need to know about Tea Towels

There are two materials used in tea towels; cotton and linen. Many traditional tea towels are made from linen as they don't leave any lint whilst being used. This means that they do not produce fluff after constant use, dry quickly and absorb moisture instantly. The soft fibres in linen mean that delicate kitchenware or fine china can be cleaned without the risk of damage.

More recently, cotton has become the preferred fabric of many tea towels of today. Cotton tea towels are incredibly absorbent and cotton which uses a terry-cloth looped weave creates larger fabric loops within the towels to absorb large quantities of water whilst keeping them strong and durable.

Just like any towel, tea towels still require washing to remove stains and prevent a build-up of bacteria. Immediately after purchasing, we recommend soaking your tea towels in warm water, this will remove any excess oil left over from the manufacturing process and activate the absorbency. If you have coloured tea towel, wash independently of other items to avoid the colours running.

Avoid fabric conditioner and instead use detergent when washing your tea towel to retain your towels absorbency for longer. Using fabric conditioner or fabric softener leaves an oily coating on the towel which becomes water-resistant and makes your towel less absorbent.

When drying your tea towels, avoid the use of a dryer as the more delicate fabric which is used in tea towels could deteriorate much quicker. Instead, hang your tea towels to dry on a washing line or clothes horse. They shouldn’t take too long to dry as they are smaller and thinner than other towels.

Tea towels can be displayed in a number of ways, either neatly folded over oven door handles or hung on a dedicated hook to add a splash of decorative colour which complements the overall kitchen interior or simply folded away and stored neatly in a kitchen drawer if they offer a more functional purpose.

Luxury Kitchen Linen Fabrics

Cotton Twill: Cotton twill is a variation of cotton and is often used in polishing cloths as the twill weave makes them noticeably stronger and less likely to discolour than conventional dusting cloths. The reduced number of interlacings within the twill weave allows the yarns to move more easily for a faster, more efficient dusting motion.

Unbleached Cotton: Unbleached cotton threads retain their natural oils and remain incredibly durable use after use. However, unbleached cotton requires around 2-3 washes for the cloths to activate their maximum absorbency.

100% Linen: A great fabric for cleaning cloths, linen is strong and durable, leaves no fluff, marks or residue and it doesn't retain grease or smells. If cared for properly, it lasts for over four months on average, keeping its shape and colour even with tough wear and tear and frequent machine washing.


Still not sure what kitchen linens will be the best fit for your kitchen routine? Woods Fine Linens has a longstanding passion for luxury linens dating back to 1733, and their experienced staff will be more than willing to help you come to an informed decision. Call 01423 530111 to discuss your requirements in detail, or visit their shop in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.