Maybe it's just at our house, but our towels start to fray along the edges well before the actual terrycloth is worn out. I trim the strings off, zig zag the edge in matching thread, and then fold it over just a quarter-inch to stitch it down. Makes a new edge and the towel keeps going.
Currently most of our bath towels are wedding presents from 22 years ago. . . and counting!
Then there was this washcloth that turned up with a frayed corner. It looks like a dog chewed on it, but that's puzzling since we don't have a dog. So I cut off the top strip entirely and stitched down the flat part to make a new edge. Let's see if that one can go 22 years, too.
I also zigzag towel edges, but yours look nicer for the extra step.
when i had my wedding shower my mom told me to put 1/2 the towels away to use later. Last year after 33 years i finally brought them out to use. lol. course the marriage was over long ago but the towels keep going......
I also trim and stitch the edges of towels. I wish more people did that rather than throwing them away! One day our towels will be the size of washcloths... lol.
"New" towels after 33 years - not too shabby!
Oh my gosh, your comment made me remember that I cut down an old terrycloth changing pad cover to make baby washcloths for Phoebe! Blogged here: https://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-layette-baby-washcloths.html And now they have graduated to the rags and make very nice scrubbing cloths!
Yes, I hope more people will learn to use what they have completely instead of mindlessly buying new.
The newer towels have a longer lasting edge. In fact we just moved to a new set in our bathroom because the old ones looked fine but they were like drying with sandpaper because all the soft loops are gone.
Oh yes, I have some old sandpaper towels in the rags - they are threadbare - the best for big messes and projects.
Our wedding towels don't look nearly as good as yours, with or without salvaging the edge. Thankfully, we do have a dog, so they do get used by her and some get sent to camp every summer with the girl - I'll have to do your zig zag edging on them to cut down on the strings.
I keep joking with my husband that we should do a vow renewal ceremony and register for new towels as gifts, but he's not amused. So for Christmas every year, he gets a set of new towels. Or sheets. Whatever piece of infrastructure I decide we need that year.
I use all my old towels as cleaning rags ... it's so good to see how long an item can still be functional . Love your blog posts as always !
I don't know why it took me until my kids were teenagers before we started having a box of half-sized towels under the kitchen sink. When a big spill happens, everyone knows where the towels are and can run to get them. Some of my wedding towels ended up there (and I got a couple towels that I hated--pink and blue stripes!--it felt good to cut them in quarters for the spill box hahahahaha
This cracks me up! We go through sheets way faster than towels for some reason.
It is amazing how long it takes me to have an epiphany sometimes! But yes, the rag location that all the kids can access and USE is critical at my house.
You are so cool, Margo. I love the resourceful way you keep house. It is an inspiration.
I'll remember this for next time--in the past I've just chopped them up for rags or "batting."
Thanks, Beth! Your methods are inspiring, too. I love the circulation of ideas among homemakers.
I'm still working through my stack of old cloth diapers. Will have plenty of towels for rags when (if?) they ever run out but diapers are hands down my favorite rags.
Yes! My last diaper-rags are now gone and they were the best! I still have some cloth soakers in the rag stash and they're pretty great, too.
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