The cute mini hand towels look great on the dining table and in the bathroom, but how do you fold them? Here is a guide on how to fold mini towels to look like Japanese oshibori, the hot towels offered at Japanese restaurants to clean your hands before the meal.
In the photos I use the mini hand towels from Weavers, but you can use all kinds of small towels or cut larger towels into the right size. The mini towels should be fairly square (about 30 x 30cm works best), and if you want to offer the towels oshibori-style, the fabric must be absorbent.
To make oshibori hot towels for your dinner guests, you will need approximately1/2-3/4 a cup of boiling water for 4 mini towels. The water is poured over the mini towels after the towels have been folded. You can place the folded towels in a rectangular plastic container or glass tray, so it is easier to manage the water pouring. The towels are best when they are damp but not completely soaked, they should be wet, but not dripping. After soaking, the towels are best handled with kitchen tongs.
You place the trays with the towels next to the plate on the dinner table, and it is customary to leave the small trays and the towels on the table throughout the meal. The mini hand towels are also perfect for the bathroom, so your guests can have a clean towel after washing their hands. It looks beautiful with a tray full of stacked (dry) mini towels next to the bathroom sink, but remember to also keep a bowl or a basket nearby so your guests have somewhere to dispose of the used hand towels.