Thursday, May 05, 2011

Tutorial: Cloth Napkins

Things in our home sometimes get names that make no sense.  It's a part of our language shorthand that we understand, but when you think about it, is unexplainable.  That weird place is where the name "face cloths" comes from.

These small squares of fabric were made to be used in place of paper towels for most of the things we use paper towels for.  I suspect the name "face cloths" refers to their use as dinner napkins, but I'm just guessing.

They are made from a queen-sized sheet I got at Urban Outfitters years ago during a 50% off sale.  I thought I'd use it as a purse linings, then I thought I'd use it as an actual sheet, but I never ended up using it for anything at all.  I've been saving it to become face cloths, it seems.

Here's the quick and dirty tutorial:

1. Cut cotton fabric into 12" squares.  I used my cutting mat, rotary cutter, and clear ruler.  So fast and easy to cut square with those tools.

2. Trim all 4 corners.  I cut them so the deepest part of the cut was about 1/4" from the corner.

3. Fold over 3/8", then 3/8" again to hide the raw edge.  I just eyeballed this step.

4. Sew a 1/4" hem on all four sides.  I used my fancy 1/4" seam foot for the first time on this project.

We do use them as dinner napkins.  We will also pile unwashed or washed vegetables on them during dinner preparation, or use them as spoon rests, and they are great for wiping all the cauliflower crumbles off the cutting board so you can cut other food without coating them in cauliflower crumbles.

I bought a small $1.50 trash can at Daiso (the Japanese one yen store in town) and put it next to the dirty clothes basket to hold the dirty face cloths.  They don't really get that dirty, though.  Anything supergross that needs to be done still gets done by a paper towel that I can throw away.

They fit in the same washer load as all the towels, so they don't make me do any extra loads of laundry.  So far, I'm really happy with them.