We all know that cheesecloths are amazing. Obviously, they're great for making cheese, but they also have a lot of other uses. Did you know that you can use it to keep your Thanksgiving turkey super moist? Or maybe you've had experience making ghostly Halloween sculptures with it? And if you're a fashionista, chances are you've dyed a cheesecloth or two for a nice summer shawl to add a pop of color. But, we're getting carried away! Cheesecloth is versatile and wonderful both in and out of the kitchen. But what happens when you need it but can't find any? Or if you're wanting something that can actually stand up to not just one or two gentle washes, but several full load washes?
Whether you're looking for a replacement because it's hard to track down cheese cloths in your area or because you want something a little more sturdy or more versatile in the kitchen, then you should check out flour sack towels.
Now, we know what you're thinking - where are you going to find a flour sack, and how much sewing does it take to turn them into towels? No worries! You don't need to track down flour sacks or sew them up. The name comes from the tight but breathable 100% cotton material that the towels are made from.
So where do they really shine and stand out when compared to traditional cheese cloths?
While it's true that you should treat these as you would cheesecloth (meaning that you hand wash or use a gentle machine cycle, and rinse out any chunks of food that might get caught in it out first), the fact is that these just last a lot longer. Even with consistent use and re-washing, these have a very long lifetime. This is due to their high-quality material and durable thread count.
In addition to being able to do just about anything that a cheesecloth can do - including making cheese - but you can also use it for helpful things like straining foods in a pot, and keeping bread and rolls warm. The best part is that these flour bag towels are completely lint-free, meaning that you never have to worry about unwanted frills and fluff in your favorite foods.
Unlike with cheesecloth which can be rather difficult to find, you can find flour sack towels at just about any general or kitchen store. Whether you prefer Mary's Kitchen Towels (the easiest way to buy premium quality white flour sack towels online), superstores, discount stores, or local markets, chances are you will be able to find a plethora of both plain and decorated flour sack towels.
You won't have to worry about fraying, threads falling out, tearing, or any other typical signs of wear and tear that cheese cloths show practically right away. Because of their tight weave, flour sack towels tend to last a lot longer without showing signs or depreciation. In fact, (though you really shouldn't!) some people are so confident in their durability that they use them as kitchen or hand towels!
But where do you "lose out"?
While you probably could do some of the same crafts with this, it just wouldn't give you the same look. Because it is denser, your ghosts won't look as ghastly, or summer shawls won't be quite as breezy, and your lamps will look a little more modern and a little less bohemian.
Guest & Kids
Not a lot of people still use cheese cloths or flour sack towels. But at least with a cheesecloth, your kids or guests probably just tell you it's looking a little thin and that you should throw them out. With flour sack towels, however, chances are that they're going to be used as hand towels, kitchen towels, and scrubbers by those who don't recognize them as a specialty or food cloth. The remedy is simple, however. Just keep them in the pantry away from other towels and cloths. Makes it handier for when you need to use them, too!
With a higher durability and better versatility, it's really no surprise that they're growing in popularity. They're also much easier to find than cheesecloth. And to you crafters out there, I'm sure you can still find a cool use for these wonderful towels. Especially if you're into making porcelain masks! Next time you're needing a cloth for making cheese, keeping your turkey juicy, straining something delicate, or even doing a crawfish boil, look into getting a flour sack towel instead. And as soon as you finish, all you have to do is rinse, wash, and repeat!