I am an enthusiastic, if deeply inept, practitioner of several different arts and crafts. I enjoy baking, making all my own greetings cards, and doing terrible things with papier maché. My most successful creative endeavours tend to fall within the realms of knitting and crochet. I have a lot of enthusiasm and a real talent for making lumpy scarves. Luckily, it isn’t that hard to make a tea cosy; even when they’re not that pretty, they tend to be functional. They give the tea table an endearingly homey feel and you can really see that I’ve tried my best!
The first recorded use of a tea cosy was in 1867. They rose in popularity along with afternoon tea, and so their success can be attributed to that legendary tea time trend setter, Anna Maria the Duchess of Bedford. Prior to the fashion for tea as a genteel social event, the only objective for a pot was to hold tea. Now, however, they were there to be talked over, to be the centrepiece of afternoons worth lingering over, and to justify gossip sessions that would invariably continue long after the tea would normally be stone cold.
To cater for these extended tea times, either teapots had to become better insulators (which would have involved some very unfashionable bulking up, not at all suitable for an elegant lady’s table) or they were going to need some assistance. Tea cosys were the obvious answer, and another tea table accessory was born.
The joy of tea cosys is that they are incredibly adaptable and can be personalised in innumerable ways to suit every taste and fashion. They are cheap and easy to make, being of a basic ‘bag with two holes in it’ design, which even I have been able to master. They can be embroidered or quilted and are wonderfully simple to knit. Some people make beautiful versions just by varying the colours they use, others manage to incorporate entire stuffed animals into the design.
They are basically pull overs for you teapot and there is something very, well, cosy about them! You can find them cheaply and easily in the shops but if you’ve got the time why not try making your own? You can be safe in the knowledge that your teapot will wear it with pride no matter how it turns out.
See more information on how to Keep Your Tea Cozy.
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