by wp1012 10 Aug 2012

NEED your help. Are Flour Sack Towels the same as Tea Towels? I can only find Flour Sack Towels only. I wanted to do some for DD and MIL. Thanks Peg


by toet 11 Aug 2012

When i was a child and families ate meals together,stories were told. I remember by dad telling us that ladies made their undies out of flour sacks in war time,with the brand name at the rear. The brand name was 'The Riseing Sun'the ladies were glad when they faded from washing.

by marjialexa Moderator 10 Aug 2012

Embroider This is a good source for blanks of all kinds, and they have a wonderful selection of towels for kitchen and bath. There are good descriptions and photos with them, so maybe you can get an idea, and maybe even get some for use as Christmas gifts. You could possibly order one of each kind you like, then make your choice. Much better selection than WalMart, I think. Good luck, hugs, Marji

1 comment
bnilla9241 by bnilla9241 10 Aug 2012

Thank you for this link!
Hugs, Bonnie

by pennyhal 10 Aug 2012

I think the difference between flour sack towels and tea towels is that one was used for flour and the other for tea! The flour sack ones were white cotton and large. The fabric used to be of a heavier weight than what is now sold as "flour sack" towels. The fabric was used for quilts. Nowadays when you buy a floursack towel, it is used mostly for drying dishes. The quality is too poor for quilts.

The tea towels were linen,much smaller than the flour sack, and pretty fancy, gorgeous designs printed or embroidered on them. I never used mine for drying dishes!

marjialexa by marjialexa 10 Aug 2012

You're right, Penny, the flour sack was originally thicker, because it was actually a sack flour or feed came in. I have a piece yet in my stash from my Aunt Martha. The modern ones are still big, but much thinner.

marjialexa by marjialexa 10 Aug 2012

And yes, tea towels were real linen, I still have some of my mother's linen ones, too.

jofrog2000 by jofrog2000 10 Aug 2012

And the originals had patterns and flowers. I have pillow cases my MIL made, and know a lady whose Mom made her prom dress out of them! A long time ago, but that should tell you they had more substance to them.

by cjmelm 10 Aug 2012

you can get the flour sack towels from Sam club...

by jofrog2000 10 Aug 2012

What you find in the stores now named flour sack towels is laughable. I have things my MIL made from real flour sack towels, as well as some unused ones.
Those oversized Walmart things are closer to cheesecloth. I think they just latched onto the name, hoping that people would associate it with what used to be. Can you really imagine them as a bag holding feed? :)
JoAnn stores have some towels in the embroidery section with the color lines down the edges that are much closer in weave to the original.
I got some 17" square restaurant dinner napkins is Sam's Club that are great.

1 comment
wp1012 by wp1012 10 Aug 2012

We have a Joann store near. I will look there. Thanks.

by marjialexa Moderator 10 Aug 2012

The Flour Sack towels I got from WalMart are about twice the size of what I'd call a 'tea towel', and much lighter weight fabric. Flour Sack towels are great for actually drying dishes, because they're absorbent. They're good for redwork or airy designs, but unless you're doubling them I don't think they'd hold really dense designs. A 'tea towel' is usually a heavier fabric, I know it has a name but I can't think of it. Usually woven in a pattern, sometimes not, but heavier material like duck cloth; shoot that's the only thing I can think of. They're not loopy, like terry, it's a flat weave, sometimes like basket weave or squares. I have some, but they're actually more decorative than useful, the flour sacks actually dry dishes better. Either one works, but check the size. It depends on what you like, and what they'll be used for. Hugs, Marji

1 comment
wp1012 by wp1012 10 Aug 2012

I have seen the ones at Walmart and they are thin. But I was looking for a thicker towel. I did not know if they were the same. Thanks.

by nhsmith55 10 Aug 2012

Hey Peg! It is my humble opinion that they are the same. If I were to use them for drying my hands only, I would get a kitchen towel, or tea towel. For dishes, you could use either. I am from the upper midwest of the USA where flour sack towels are used regularly. But I currently live on the east coast, where almost no one uses flour sack towels!~ Nancy

1 comment
wp1012 by wp1012 10 Aug 2012

Thank you.