By Gabrielle.

Mind if I do a little show-and-tell? I finally snapped photos of these this morning and they are still making me grin. Eight antique French kitchen towels!

These have been on my list as the number one souvenir I want to bring home from France so you can guess how happy I was when I spotted a basket of them at a brocante (sort of an odds and ends antique shop) for 5 euros each. I’ve shopped around and that’s a good price — and really, pretty similar to what a new dish towel might cost. I quickly went through the basket, picked out my favorite eight (4 of them have embroidered initials!), and asked Ben Blair to give them to me for Christmas. : )

They are not a matching set, but they all have a distinctive red stripe in common. And although these would still function very well as regular old useful dish towels, my intention is to use them as a set of dinner napkins. They’re not a typical square napkin shape — in fact, several are quite long, and all are definitely rectangular. But I think they’ll make wonderful napkins all the same.

Some are a bit spotty, so the next step will be a good soak in the laundry to see how clean I can get them.

What do you think? Do they appeal to you like they do to me? And do you think I need more? What sort of souvenirs would you bring home?

P.S. — I first mentioned seeing linens like these here.