When experts were asked to vote for Britain's coolest brands (2012-2013), in a list that included companies such as Topshop and Soho House, a little company called To Dry For (todryfor.com) also made the cut. To Dry For specialises in printed tea towels.
It might seem like a hard sell to make a piece of cloth used for drying saucepans "cool", but then the modest tea towel has had quite a makeover. Yes, they are often insufferably twee or groan-inducing, but it seems the public – or at least the middle classes – can't get enough of them.
"It's tricky to say why they've become such a thing," says Sally Emery, who founded To Dry For with her husband David. "It's probably down to the economic climate. People aren't going out for dinner so much, and it's a cheap way of making staying in and cooking in the kitchen a bit of a nicer experience. It's cheesy, and we don't lose sight of the fact that it is just a mundane object, but they really brighten up the home."