American Dishtowel Club Show: The Sporting Group

Welcome back dishtowel lovers, to the Inaugural Show of the American Dishtowel Club (ADC)! As we noted at our last meeting, at which we judged the members of the Working Group, our focus is to apply conformation standards to three groups of towels, ultimately to arrive at the Best of Show. (If you have not yet reviewed and voted on the Working Group Towels, you are encouraged to do so now—voting is very tight in this category!)

Today we are pleased to present the towels in our second category, the Sporting Group.

Guidelines: Naturally bright and active, Sporting towels make likeable, well-rounded home companions. Remarkable for their instincts in pleasing humans, these towels live by the creed that “dishtowels just want to have fun.” These towel breeds combine pleasing physical attributes with practical skills, such as drying dishes, wrapping wine bottles as gifts, and covering rising bread dough. They may not have the fortitude and absolute reliability of working group towels, but they actively participate in the décor of the home.

Calendar/ Souvenir Towels

Bright, smart, fun-loving at home

A most popular breed, this towel combines cheery and bold graphics with the practical value of either a yearly calendar or a vacation souvenir of unmatchable use. These towels are highly decorative, although their physical attributes vary greatly within the breed. They are widely available and willing to serve either a working or purely decorative function. Their appeal to humans is largely nostalgic but they are also dependable and sturdy companions.

1950s Towels

Happy, eager, and charming

It is common for dishtowels to reflect societal preferences and trends. This can be seen nowhere more clearly than in the 1950s-era towel. Towels of this breed are resolutely upbeat and sociable. Members of the group often have unusual coloration, featuring colors such as avocado green, harvest gold, aqua, and pink, as well as stylized graphics. Potential owners should know that towels of this group are enthusiastic to a fault; they will not behave in a subtle manner or remain quiet, no matter how well trained.

Hand-embellished Towels

Affectionate and family-oriented; can be individualistic and quirky

While many towels display elements of handwork, towels in this class feature it, even at the expense of practicality. While it is not unheard of that these towels be put to work, their appeal is largely in their commitment to individual achievement in the areas of sewing skills, such as embroidery, appliqué, and crochet. These towels form strong bonds with humans, and reflect their personalities. For this reason, the towels are as individual as their owners.

Risqué Towels/Lipstick Towels

Merry and responsive, alive with energy, and forever young

While not strictly dishtowels, towels of this group are designed for a very specific sporting arena. With their focus on scantily-clad women and romance, these towels are not always at home with more conservative owners. Relentlessly charming and sprightly, though, the members of this breed are likely to bring a smile to most faces. They tend to feature playfulness over sturdiness and may not show the stamina of other members of the class.

Now that you have reviewed the towels in the Sporting Group, we invite you to vote for your favorite; as you vote, please keep in mind that you are voting not for a specific towel but the category as a whole.

We hope you’ll join us next week for the next installment in the American Dishtowel Club Conformation Show. Next up is the Non-Working/Non-Sporting Group!

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45 thoughts on “American Dishtowel Club Show: The Sporting Group

  1. After 6 cups of tea, scrutinizing in agony over these photos, I phoned a friend, asked an expert, looked again, showed Charley (who could not care less, since they are not edible) I have decided: the 1950 ones!! Phew..I need a nap now…

    • I am so pleased that you are giving this the consideration it deserves! I mean, if we don’t maintain quality in the sphere of dishtowels, what else might we be lax about!??!

  2. Oh me, it was hard to make up my mind until my Grammys kitchen came to mind. I see Norman Rockwell hanging on her wall, went down another memory lane , Moms kitchen , yes those calendar towels were there. They were used on the walls first, then to cover bread dough , or cover fresh warm bread. So calendar towls it is for me.

    • I was so tickled with that NY World’s Fair towel! I went to that fair when I was about 9 and specifically remember having a Belgian waffle for the first time! And, no, it really isn’t spring yet but the forecast says it will be soon!

  3. I’m going with hand-embellished.
    I never even knew there was such a thing as risque/ lipstick towels! The closest we got to risque at my house was Southern belles with a little petticoat showing!

  4. While I love the hand-embellished (I love making them and receiving them and looking at them, and looking for them in antique stores…) I must vote for the 1950s towels because they are so colorful, whimsical,…and I hardly ever see them anywhere! I see tablecloths all the time (from that era), but never towels…and if I do, they’re faded and/or torn. The ones in your photo look wonderful and so cute!

  5. I vote for the souvenir towels because of lovely memories of a linen towel from the local cotton gin in the 1960’s. Now the towel is soft, the gin is gone and I know 78 people who wish they could have that towel.

  6. It was a close race between the 50’s towels and the Hand-embellished ones, but I have to vote for the Hand-embellished category. I have had several of these and they are dear to my heart because of the hands that did the embellishing.

  7. it has taken me 2 days to come to a decision, of course it had to have the personal touch so it was a toss-up between the hand-embellished and the fun of the risque’/lipstick towels. If I don’t type this quick I’ll change my mind again – hand-embellished is my vote.

  8. Pingback: American Dishtowel Club Show: Non-Working/Non-Sporting Group | Love Those "Hands at Home"

  9. I have to admit none of these towels really make my heart sing – do you suppose it is because I am not in the least ‘sporty’? Forced to choose, I go with the 1950’s just because they have a happy colour palette and my memory says they are made of good quality cloth and do the job well.

  10. Pingback: Inaugural Show of the American Dishtowel Club: We Announce the Winner! | Love Those "Hands at Home"

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