Sunday, March 13, 2022

Saving Towels and Washcloths

 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. 

18 comments:

  1. I also zigzag towel edges, but yours look nicer for the extra step.

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  2. 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......

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    1. "New" towels after 33 years - not too shabby!

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  3. 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.

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    1. 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.

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  4. 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.

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    1. Oh yes, I have some old sandpaper towels in the rags - they are threadbare - the best for big messes and projects.

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  5. 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.

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    1. This cracks me up! We go through sheets way faster than towels for some reason.

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  6. 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 !

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  7. 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

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    1. 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.

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    2. 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.

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    3. 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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  8. 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."

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  9. Thanks, Beth! Your methods are inspiring, too. I love the circulation of ideas among homemakers.

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