Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Old-Fashioned Flower Sack Towels

Flour Sack Dishtowels
When I grew up, in an age without automatic dishwashers, Grandma had me dry the dishes with her old-fashioned flour sack towels. These were large, thirsty towels that could get the job done in a no-nonsense way. She would wash and I would dry. 

Sunbonnet Baby from our Redwork Club
As a professional cook, Grandma used flour sack towels for a variety of tasks around the kitchen. When the bread was rising in the bread bowl, she'd lay a cotton towel on top of it to keep it warm. When canning season arrived, the flour sack towels became strainers for fruit. These towels wiped down spills on kitchen counters, were folded up to make pads for hot dishes, and wrapped around bowls of ice to keep condensation at a minimum. If you accidentally burned yourself in the kitchen, Grandma would grab some ice, wrap it in a dishtowel, and place it on the burn.  


Dancing Dishes Days of the Week Design

Grandma had flour sack towels for every day use, and flour sack towels with embroidery work on them that she "saved for good." When she taught me to embroider at the age of 9, she traced a design on a flour sack towel and showed me how to make days-of-the-week sets to put in my hope chest. It was like finding an old friend when we discovered a source for these old-fashioned flour sack towels. I find myself using them almost as often as Grandma did. 

These 100% cotton flour sack towels are designed to be bleached and to withstand many trips through the washing machine. Each towel measures 28" X 28" and is made from Egyptian cotton, a long staple cotton that is super absorbent. 

Flour sack towels are available individually or in packages of seven. Seven may seem like a funny number for a bundle of towels, but not when you consider the popularity of those Days of the Week embroidery patterns for stitching onto these towels.

Grandma's Attic has everything you need to stitching these towels. The towels themselves, Aunt Martha transfer patterns, redwork patterns, transfer pencils and tracing pads. It's a fun, relaxing way to make gifts for family and friends--or to "save for good" in your own hope chest!