Vintage shaving cloths

Vintage 1950s linen barber shaving cloths

We bought these vintage shaving cloths this week. Kept in traditional barbers, they were used for wiping cut-throat razors.

Vintage 1950s Irish linen barber shaving cloth made by Dunmoy Vintage 1950s linen barber shaving cloth with inscription: This is the cloth To wipe the blade To spare the towel To save the money To pay for the house That you built.

We thought they were fabulous – each having wonderful graphic illustrations featuring facial hair in its myriad of forms… and in one case, a little verse extolling the money-saving virtues of razor cloths over towels.

Vintage 1950s linen barber shaving cloth Vintage 1950s Irish linen barber shaving cloth made by Dunmoy. The Fitz Razor Line

These vintage shaving cloths are made of linen and date from the 1950s/60s era.

Vintage 1950s linen barber razor cloths

Having dealt with vintage homewares for many years, endless linen items from Northern Ireland have passed through our hands – manufacturers such as Dunmoy and Ulster Weavers. In addition to tea towels and place mats, it seems that razor cloths were also part of their massive output.

Vintage 1950s linen barber razor cloths

We thought that they had lots of potential as wall decoration in a vintage styled barbers or hairdressers… or would be equally at home in a domestic bathroom. They could be suspended from a row of small hooks – or perhaps, better still, simply framed and hung – singly or perhaps in small groups.

William Shakespeare anniversary

Detail of a vintage William Shakespeare tea towel | H is for Home

It was the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare this week. There’s been lots of Shakespeare related stuff in theatre-land, in the papers and on on TV. To commemorate the occasion, the BBC is running a Shakespeare Festival.

Vintage William Shakespeare tea towel | H is for Home

This is our humble offering – a pretty vintage tea towel that we picked up this week – good timing! Made of pure Irish linen, it was produced for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and designed by Julia Killingback – probably in the 1970s.

We’ve previously seen this tea towel in shades of yellow & orange, but never in this lovely blue & purple colourway. It’s unused and in excellent condition – very suitable to frame and display. Drop us a line if you can give it a good home – £8 plus P & P.

Measure for Pleasure

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section of a vintage metric measure tea towel

We recently featured some lovely vintage tea towels that we’d bought at auction. We’ve just acquired another one that we thought we’d share with you lovers of design from this era. This one dates from the late 60s/early 70s and features imperial & metric measurements.

section of a vintage metric measure tea towel

Here it is in its spectacular entirety! It might only be a humble tea towel, but it’s really a period artwork. Fabulous design & wonderful colours. We think they’re great value – you can pick up unused examples like this one for about £20 – less if your lucky. Nicely framed for another £30 or so – and you’ve got a vintage, original and distinctive wall decoration for £50. Your piece of art might even be unique – most tea towels were actually used and thrown away when they became tatty. You might have the only one left!!

vintage metric measures tea towel

This one has gone into our own growing collection of textiles – now that would be a major framing bill! This one’s heading to the top of the pile though, as we really fancy it in our orange kitchen!

Gimme Five! tea towels

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selection of 5 tea towels

We go through tea towels like nobody’s business! Do you? We treat them really mean. They get stained so easily and lose their vibrancy after a few washes. We somehow manage to set a fair few on fire as well!

It’s such a shame to do that to tea towels – some of them are so beautiful – like works of art. Some people have them displayed on their walls. In fact, we’ve got a few put away ourselves waiting to be framed.

Luckily, for the most part they don’t break the bank; so if you come across some with a particularly pretty pattern, stock up on a few!

  1. Set of 2 very large French linen tea towels (vintage): €40, Cachette
  2. Arca pack of 3 patterned tea towels: £12, Habitat
  3. Tea cups tea towel: £6.50, Etsy
  4. Marimekko Kippis Cheers set of 2 tea towels: £30, Heal’s
  5. The Tea Towel: £9.95, by Distinctly Living, Notonthehighstreet