If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you know there are few things more valuable than a good kitchen towel. You can cook with one thrown over your shoulder, toss it over rising bread, use it to handle hot pots and pans, and whip it at intruders who might be trying to get their fingers into the cake batter. And if you want the best of the best in kitchen towels, you need to use flour sack towels.
Flour sack towels are everything you want in a kitchen towel – large, durable, easy to clean, and beautiful to display. They don’t leave behind lint, get softer with age, and handle nearly every job around the home. Read on to learn more about these fabulous towels and why you need to get your hands on some today.
What Is a Flour Sack Towel?
Flour sack towels take their name from their origins, but these days, they don’t have anything to do with flour. They are large pieces of cotton fabric, usually about thirty inches square. They tend to be made of a loose fabric that’s denser than cheesecloth but still thin enough to see through.
Flour sack towels are pre-washed and are lint-free. They can come in either plain white, dyed solid colors, or a variety of beautiful vintage-style patterns. They’re durable and resistant to shrinking in the wash, and although most of these towels use a thin weave, you can find some more heavyweight flour sack towels.
Kitchen Towel vs. Flour Sack Cotton Dish Towel
Traditional kitchen towels differ from flour sack dish towels in a few important ways. For one thing, kitchen towels tend to be made of soft looped terry cloth. They tend to be a little smaller and may come with a loop attached to hang them off an oven door or nearby hook.
Kitchen towels are great for drying hands and dishes because of their looped structure. But they tend to leave behind a lot of lint, which makes them unsuited for cooking. They also tend to wear out a little quicker than the hardier flour sack towels.
How They Got Their Start
As you might guess from the name, flour sack towels got their start as fabric used to ship flour. Barrels were expensive, so grain mills began bagging up flour fifty pounds at a time in heavy cotton sacks. Housewives recognized that the fabric was too good quality to simply throw away once the flour was gone, and they started figuring out how to remove packaging labels and reuse this fabric.
The flour sacks were used to make clothes, diapers, aprons, coverlets, and, of course, towels. Flour merchants got wind of what their sacks were being used for and began printing sewing and embroidery patterns and colorful designs on their sacks. Merchants began selling these printed flour sack towels wholesale, and a movement was born.
Bigger is Better
One of the best things about flour sack towels is how big they are. Most of them are between two and three feet square, far bigger than your average kitchen towel. And increased size leads to increased functionality when you’re working in a kitchen.
If you’re drying dishes, a bigger towel can dry for longer before it has to be swapped out and washed. You can use a large towel to cover bread that’s proofing or lay in a sheet pan to dry lettuce. And they’re long enough that they won’t slide off your oven door and wind up in a puddle on your floor.
Benefits of Thinner Fabric
Thinner fabric may not seem like a good thing in a dish towel, but it’s actually very useful. If you’re trying to steam and dry out cauliflower for use in pizza crust or other such recipes, you want a towel that can drain water through it. This is also important for making preserves, jams, and jellies.
Flour sack towels can help keep herbs fresh if you dampen them and then wrap them around the herbs. You can strain broths and ricotta through them and use them to purify soups and sauces. And because the weave is looser, the towel is more absorbent for drying off your hands.
You may be worried about straining a soup through a flour sack towel because surely it’s going to get lint in it, right? That’s the beauty of flour sack towels; they don’t produce lint! The tight cotton threads bind together well and are long enough that they won’t drop fuzzies into your food.
This is also important for proofing bread since you don’t want to pull a towel off a gorgeously risen loaf only to find it looking like a tribble. And this quality makes flour sack towels ideal for drying dishes. You won’t wind up picking fuzz off your plates before you put them in the cabinet.
They Wear Well
Flour sack towels are unique in that they improve the more and more that you use them. Terry kitchen towels start to look nubby and bald over time, and eventually, they turn into rags. But like men and fine wine, flour sack towels get better with age.
Flour sack towels may start out stiff and not especially soft. But the more you wash them and use them, the softer those cotton fibers get. But at the same time, those cotton threads are durable enough that you don’t have to worry about wearing your towels into rags; you just wind up with gorgeous perfectly soft towels.
The farmhouse style is becoming more than just a practicality. As our world veers more and more towards flashy designs, many people are returning to simpler styles. And flour sack dish towels are the perfect accessory for a home that’s going for a classic farmhouse look.
True to their heritage, flour sack dish towels still come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can get them in plain white or in a variety of solid colors to match your decorating scheme. You can also find fun patterns that are good to use or display, whichever you prefer.
If you bake a lot, you’re going to want to get some flour sack towels bulk shipments. You can use these towels to lay over proofing bread, to keep food warm, or to drain rinsed salad greens. You can also use a flour sack towel to line your crisper drawer, drain preserves, or keep bread warm.
Flour sack towels are useful as potholders and oven mitts, as well as to hold cutting boards in place. You can place them under your dish drying rack or in your cabinets to cushion your dishes. And these towels are big enough that you can wear one as an apron by sewing a ribbon along the top edge.
If you run a homestead, flour sack towels are your best friends. You can modify your apron to form a harvesting apron by folding it in half to form a large pocket and sewing up the sides. You can use these towels to dust or clean windows without wasting paper towels or leaving behind lint.
You can sew a flour sack towel into a tote bag to use for produce at the grocery store. You can use them to wrap ice packs or as a bib or burp cloth for a baby. You can even use them to wrap gifts, pinning them with safety pins, for a wrapping that your loved one will be able to use again and again.
How to Clean Them
You may be thinking that by the time you’ve cooked, cleaned, healed, harvested, and wrapped with your flour sack towels, they’ll be pretty grimy. Luckily, you won’t have to buy wholesale flour sack towels every week (though we wouldn’t blame you if you did). They’re easy to clean, too!
Never use bleach or fabric softeners on your flour sack towels, and they can damage the natural cotton fibers. Instead, use hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate, and wash them with white vinegar. Wash the towels on a delicate cycle in cold water, and tumble dry them on low.
Discover the Benefits of Flour Sack Towels
Flour sack towels are one of your best friends around the home or the homestead. They’re great for cooking, ideal for cleaning, super absorbent, durable, and charming. The question isn’t whether or not you want flour sack towels – it’s how many you want to get in your first order.
If you’d like to get flour sack towels for your home, check out the rest of our site at Sack Towels. We provide America’s best sack towels in a variety of colors and patterns, including custom designs. Check out our wholesale flour sack towels today and discover the wonder of these tools.