What kind of fabric is like Flour Sack dishtowels?

kienduDecember 10, 2012

I want to make some flour sack dishtowels...(and embroider them) and don't see anything at the fabric store that says "flour sack". Thinking maybe it's a muslin type?

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Flour sack is exactly what it says..flour could be bought in cloth bags (maybe still can?. I'd say that maybe a soft, tightly woven muslin might come closest. The 'sacks' were usually printed fabric that was used for clothing. Aaarrrg! I'm giving my age away.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:42PM
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FlamingO in AR

Lots of info to be had....

Have you thought of using Osnaburg fabric? Or linen, even a linen blend?

Here is a link that might be useful: Link about feedsacks....

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Genuine plain "flour sack" material is a soft, medium loosely woven white material with rather thick threads. After a couple of washings it softens into an absorbent towel. It's tight enough to hold flour, but if you drop the sack, a bit of flour pops through the weave. (they are a constant source of flour dust and attract weevils)

"Feed sack" or "flour sack" material that was used for dresses was tighter woven, more of a calico or gingham texture, thinner threads, and does not soften much. I've seen them used for flour, animal feed, and sugar.

If it was intended for dress material, the sack had a paper label. Some sacks came with a printed toy pattern or other useful pattern on them, much like the 1-yard toy prints today.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 7:25AM
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You can buy pkgs of flour sack dish towels at walmart,herschners,and stores like that.I love the FS dishtowels better than anything else out there.I have some in my dish towel drawer that i know are at least 25 to 30 years old and they still have some life left in them,same with my BFF.

I also like to use the aunt martha transfers with them.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:51PM
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I know this posting is over a month old but... if there is an Atwood's feed supply store near anyone of you, they have some flour sack towels for 1.97 each. They are 30" squares and made very nicely, by that I mean the edges are hemmed nicely.... I bought 7 to embroidery some tea towels with and intend to go get more while they have them. They are just sitting out in the store in a wire bin, not wrapped up so it's easy to go thru them and pick the exact ones you want. I have washed mine, they washed up very nice but of course needed pressing, which is normal I think when they are new. Hope this helps someone...

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 4:02PM
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I used Osnaburg... and it is fantastic! Thanks Flamingo! Bought a bolt of it now... busy making dish towels!! I like it much better than the linen, it's soft and absorbant. The muslin I tested got wet right away and didn't wipe clean from the dishes. Osnaburg reminds me of those higher end dish towels at the the department stores, very nice. And I bought a bolt of 45 wide for $2.20 a yard, great deal!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 5:15PM
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FlamingO in AR

Oh, I'm so glad that I was helpful! Thank you for coming back and giving us a report, that was nice of you. Have fun with your embroidery projects! $2.20 a yard is a great price.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Where did you find the "Osnaburg" for that price.
I would like to purchase some to use on my letterpess... but I am having a hard time finding quality at a good price!
thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2013 at 8:23PM
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A friend and I "opened" our own business.. We show at craft shows during the summer and collect sales tax on our sales. We applied for a sales tax number and opened an account with a wholesale supplier to purchase fabrics and threads, ect.

We have to purchase $800 a year to keep our account open. We do have to purchase fabrics by the bolt, but it's about half price of retail. I can go thru 15 yards, or we'll split a bolt. We also sell FQ's at our craft booth to use up some of the extras, along with thread and notions, in addition to the items we've made for resale.

One of the companies we purchase from is called Checker Distributors, (they have this osnaburg) but they only sell to businesses.You only need a sales tax number and fill out their application. You can apply for credit with them, but we didn't trust ourselves, we'd of maxed it out with the first order.... we pay with credit/debit card. The only other thing is, you have to have a minimum of $150.00 per order. Between two of us, it hasn't been a problem! LOL! We order once a month.

Just an FYI... the shipping cost is the same for one bolt of fabric, or three. So, we always order three or more. Most everything else (thread, patterns, notions, books, ect) are free shipping.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:06PM
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You can readily buy osnaburg fabric at any fabric store, Hancock, Joann's, hobby Lobby. It's available where the muslin is located. I use tons of of it all the time. I'm making some dish towels right now out of painters drop cloth that you can buy from any home improvement stores like Lowes or Home depot.


Here is a link that might be useful: Rock River Stitches

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 12:25PM
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You can also find the flour sack dish towels at joanns,they are over with the cross stitch supplies. I never tried osnaburg for dish towels,actually never gave it a thought.

Tammy,isn't the drop cloth fabric too stiff to make dish towels,and doesn't it wrinkle quite badly when washed???

I've thought of using it for things but I thought it was stiff and wrinkled too much when washed.I'll have to go to harbor freight and pick one up and see what I can make with it.
Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:15PM
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I also wouldn't think drop cloth would absorb water when you dry dishes. The goal of using a drop cloth is to keep the paint from seeping through

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Here is my finished towel that I made today with the painters drop cloth. I used a tutorial from my friends blog, Dee Duncan. http://vintagecountrystyle.blogspot.com/p/french-grain-sack-tea-towels-tutorial.html

Dee has some really cool tutorials on her blog, check it out!


Here is a link that might be useful: French Grain Sack Tea Towel

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 4:28PM
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I have been unhappy with every florsack distowel I have purchased in stores or online. They simply aren't the weight of the ones my mother had. She used them for her married life and I got another 20 years from them. Of course, hers were the kind made from real flour sacks. I too am looking for similar fabric to make some.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 2:58PM
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As for the post recommending osnaberg fabric, that's a good choice. Flour was not the only thing packaged in fabric sacks. But flour, salt, etc. did require a tighter weave to keep contents from "sifting" out. Well, they did to some extent, anyway, but not as much as looser weaves. Feed sacks did not need to be as tight a weave and were actually most often made from osnaberg. Originally it was all cotton in content, but with the advent of synthetics, now osnaberg may be a cotton/polyester blend. Having tired of purchasing thin so-called "flour sack" towels I made mine from osnaberg.

As a child, I found some old sacks in the attic that my mom had saved. I thought it was fun to pull apart the seams to open the fabric. Some were not too big but some were big enough to cut children's clothing from!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2015 at 3:38PM
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