A beautifully vintage fabric gets a swish modern update.

 TT_BLK1_grandeI have a nostalgic affection for real linen in the kitchen, which goes back to the handmade tea towels and tablecloths that my Slovak relatives would make for my mom, and later, for me, which we’d roll out for special occasions. Linen is one of those rare fabrics that gets more beautiful with age—softer, well loved—yet it’s sturdy enough to get tossed in the washer and dryer.Just before Christmas, my friends at the gorgeous design store Provide shared a new line of linen from the Vancouver-based Lissu. Inspired by Scandinavian design, Lissu’s linen tea towels are in simple, bold shades (black is my personal favourite, a striking match to my black and white kitchen, though the rich navy is a close second). And because they’re 100 percent linen, they’re work horses in the kitchen: they naturally inhibit bacteria and microflora (no more smelly towels), and hold up to 20 times their weight in water—while drying quickly. The perfect modern update to a beautifully retro material.Lissu Linen tea towels, $22, available at Provide, providehome.com; lissulinen.com