These can be had in three sizes, 22, 27, and 31 inches square; the medium size is the most usual. If very stiffly starched they wear out much more quickly, are apt to slip off the knees, and are almost useless; but for fanciful folding stiffness is necessary. When showing signs of wear, they should be folded into four instead of three creases for ironing. Those of medium quality cost from 10/11 per dozen.


For this purpose linen is of far more practical use than cotton, which, although it may look promising in the shops, does not quickly absorb moisture, and soon becomes poor and limp. Linen huckabuck is most satisfactory for daily use : the unbleached, thick, and loosely made variety is the best. If buying it by the yard, 13 yards should be purchased to make into a dozen towels; this allows for the hems.

Very good ready-made towels are to be had either with fringed or hemstitched ends, from 9d. to 1/1 each. Much more expensive ones may be bought; but the above is a medium price.

Small bath-towels cost from 1/3: large bath-sheets of white Turkish towelling, with fringed ends, from 2/4.

Kitchen Towels

A good supply of tea, glass, and basin cloths is also necessary. These should be carefully marked and hemmed, and should be of a distinctive pattern, so that each may be used solely for its legitimate purpose. These, with dusters, should be given out weekly, the soiled ones being counted after washing, before being replaced in the linen cupboard.

Hessian hearth-cloths, oven-cloths, and knife-cloths should be hemmed, marked, and entered in the linen-book.

Unbleached calico, cut in suitable-sized pieces and hemmed, answers very satisfactorily for pudding cloths.

Coarse linen is the most appropriate material for drying paint after washing.


Kitchen towels and cloths should be marked as carefully and methodically as bed and table linen. Where the marking is in ink it is usually placed in the top left-hand corner, as this shows conveniently when folded after ironing.

Thread marking has one disadvantage - in that, besides taking much time, it can easily be picked out by dishonest people. In large institutions, articles are often marked in the actual centre, because if near a hem the mark can easily be torn off and the article rehemmed.

Where sheets are set apart for each special room the marking would be as follows:-


2. Smithson. 3.


The word "guest" of course indicates that they are reserved for the spare room, 2 the number of the pair in question, and 3 that there are three pairs in the set reserved for the spare room.

By this method it is easy to see the sets are complete, and if one be missing to ascertain which it is. Sheets should be put away in pairs in the linen cupboard, one being rolled inside the other.

Where separate table-cloths are used for breakfast, luncheon, and dinner, they should be marked in the same way, putting the name of the meal for which they are intended - thus :


4- Smithson. 6.


which shows that there are six luncheon-cloths in the set, and that this particular cloth is No. 4. Carving-cloths, tray and supper cloths, and small d'oylies are often marked in the centre, where, when in use, the marking will be hidden.

Small scent-sachets or lavender-bags placed in the cupboard cause a delightful fragrance to cling to the linen, especially in the case of sheets. Old table-cloths should be cut down to make breakfast, supper, tray cloths, or serviettes.


This is a moot question, as it depends entirely on the purse, size of the household, and amount of accommodation. The following list may be a guide in the case of a small household:-

3 Pairs sheets for each bed or 5 pairs for 2 beds of same size. 3 Pillow-slips for each single bed. 6 „ „ „ „ double bed. 3 Bolster-covers for each bed. 2 Under blankets „ " 2 Pairs top „ „ „

2 Counterpanes for each bed, or 3 for 2 beds of same size.

3 Toilet-covers for each dressing-table or chest. 3 Slips and mats for each dressing-chest.

3 Roller towels for each roller. 3 Bath-towels for each person. 6 Bedroom-towels for each person.

3 Kitchen table-cloths. 6 Tray-cloths.

4 Afternoon tea-cloths. 3 Sideboard-cloths.

3 Dinner waggon-slips.

3 Dinner table-cloths.

3 Breakfast table-cloths.

2 Large table-cloths for special occasions.

1 Dozen breakfast serviettes.

2 or 3 Dozen dinner serviettes.

3 Carving-cloths.

3 Supper-cloths.

1 1/2 Dozen glass-cloths.

2 Dozen tea-towels.

1 Dozen basin-cloths. 6 Chamber-cloths. 6 Lavatory-cloths. 6 Paint-cloths.

4 Oven-cloths.

3 Hearth-cloths. 6 Knife-cloths.

6 Grate-dusters.

1 Dozen ordinary dusters.

2 Dozen furniture dusters. 6 or 8 Dust-sheets.

6 Curtain-bags.

1 Dozen dish-cloths.

6 Yards floor-flannel.

For the maids the bedding and towels may be allowed in the same proportion, only of a stronger make.