Tea towels (dish towels) are large cotton or linen decorated towels used most often for drying dishes. They can also be very useful for serving when handling a hot teapot. Towels should be washed before use to improve absorbency. Printed tea towels may be hemmed on either two or four sides, depending on the width of the woven piece on the loom. Towels made of 100% linen or 50% linen cotton are coarse to the touch, but as they are used and washed become softer, more absorbent, and lint free.