towelFourth of July weekend is a great time to be out and about at flea markets, yard sales and antique shops.  Who says sacristies cannot also be beautiful as well as orderly, neat, and clean?  I enjoy finding little treasures when I am out on the antique trail which will add a little something special to the sacristy towel rack and linen drawers.  The towel to the left is of a soft 100% cotton, loose weave. These were very popular in all sizes during Victorian-Edwardian times and even into the the 1920’s.  Sometimes these are called “birdseye” due to the little tiny dots all over in the pattern, or sometimes hock cloth or huckweave.  This fabric is very soft and absorbant and nothing is better for drying glass and silver. Often there is a dainty lace edging made of filet crochet, tatting, or bobbin lace- but more often the larger towels have a hemstitched plain end or fringe. Sometimes they are monogrammed.  The more you wash them, the softer and more absorbant they become.  Yes, they look best when ironed, but it is a very small price to pay for the look of a gleaming towel bar over your sink, lined with these lovely and durable towels. They also dry quickly after using if stretched out to air on the towelbar. I have tried terrycloth and linen towels and nothing beats these wonderful old vintage white towels. I see them everywhere in the $ 2-$ 8 dollar range-a little more for the larger size.  $4 is on average for the hand towel size.  And keep an eye out for lace trims (hand made), neat Irish linen tea cloths, linen napkins, damask weave cottons, and other white vintage textiles which can be transformed into amazing credence cloths and lavabo towels!  Sometimes the exquisite whitework embroidery, all hand done is a FRACTION of what those expensive catalogues want -and the fabric and work far superior.  This can be a fun project for your altar guild this summer-finding little treasures which are useful, practical- and beautiful!