The back story
We began our project to help out with Colchester In Bloom. As the weather this year has not been great for growing enough flowers, we made our own artificial ones out of yellow plastic bags and tea towels with flower patterns on, to help with our window box displays.
When we had made enough Colchester In Bloom tea towels, we decided to expand on the project as we had a taste for the process.
Other themes for Tea Towels have included The Cutty Sark (as Jane wanted to sell at a stall in Greenwich market), elephants, fish squares, mermaids, The Wanted (the band), various abstracts and a specialty tea towel for Franklins who donated us a sewing machine (commissions welcome). Coming soon will be themes on wildlife and space.
The T towels are made from 100% cotton, or a linen and rayon mix bought from Franklins and Fabric8. The designs are drawn with Dylon fabric pens and painted with fabric paint. These colours are fixed by ironing, then the edges pinned and sewn using our lovely sewing machine, generously donated by Franklins on St Botolphs Street Colchester, Essex CO2 7DU
(selection of some of the T Towels produced)
Each T towel is produced either by a trainee with a vision or a group of trainees working on different elements of a pattern and we are accepting offers of between £3 and £20 for each.
And if you need any more encouragement as to how necessary a good towel is, here’s Douglas Adams with his thoughts in the Hitchhikers Guide To The galaxy;
"A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."