Hmmm, interesting DCM. I've never questioned their raison d'Ítre before. We had dish rags like GGs for nasty/regular kitchen jobs, and then we had both kitchen towels with knitted/crocheted towel toppers and knitted/crocheted dishcloths and towels. The former were more for decoration, while the latter were usually for regular use. Both were gifted by friends and family to new brides and lady friends for birthdays and such. I do know that knitted cotton dishcloths do a fine job cleaning mirrors and windows. Beyond that, I can only guess that it's a southern country thing.
All Needful Things
"Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." Except carpal tunnel.
- Elizabeth Zimmermann