Home crafts intended for use in the kitchen bother me once they are seen as vintage items. The kitchen has to be one of the messiest places in the house and most of these things were meant to get a little messy – but once they’ve acquired vintage status (don’t ask me at what stage that happens….) I’m reluctant to let them anywhere near the kitchen bench. Do I actually want to get scorch marks or pudding mixture on my gorgeous 1950s oven cloth? Hell no! But weren’t these things made with the expectation that they’d get messy? Probably, but because they’ve survived the ravages of time and the kitchen they’ve become objects to admire rather than use. This is not to say I don’t use my vintage stuff, but some things are just too precious or cool to risk soiling.

Even if this cute wee mat wasn’t embroidered in a way that clearly states its purpose, we’d know what it was intended for because it’s marked by a pretty obvious pot-shaped scorch mark. I love it that the maker just had to give the pot luscious red lips and kewpie doll eyelashes.

These oven gloves are so pretty but I’m not convinced that they are entirely fit for purpose. All that separates the hand from the hot dish is two layers of linen – I think I’d be after something a little thicker….

These oven cloths are a lot sturdier. Most of them have not been used much, if at all, which makes me feel better about elevating them from humble kitchen items to vintage untouchables. This one is nearly too 1960s for me – just as well it’s all cotton & no polyester!

This one has the same pattern on the other side, only it’s mainly purple.

This is a simple, rectangular oven cloth. What I best like about it is the price tag, which is still attached – 2 shillings, so it was obviously made before NZ’s currency was decimalized in 1967. Even without the price tag I’d know this had never been used. It’s in perfect nick.

Someone’s gone to a lot of trouble making this wee number. I don’t think it’s seen a day’s work in the kitchen.

This one certainly has been used – it’s history as a workhorse is evident in staining and fraying. I love it – the lime green binding around the edges is gorgeous and the different fabrics which comprise the floral centre work so nicely with it. Respect to this cloth’s creator!

My last kitchen-esque piece is a bit silly, but very cute. Nobody wants to dip their soldiers into a cold egg do they?