Using Flour Sack Towels as Flat Diapers

Using Flour Sack Towels as Flat Diapers

Flour sack towels make great, versatile flat diapers.

Flats by far are one of my favorite diapers to use, and make up 75% of my diaper stash. I have two children in cloth, a two year old and a 7 ½ month old, and I reach for my flats 90% of the time. The only type of flats that I have in my stash and the only ones I have ever used are Flour Sack Towels (FSTs). Therefore, I have nothing really to compare the FST to, since I have never tried a name brand flat.

Two years ago, I wanted to participate in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge, but needed to buy flats on a very tight budget. I heard about FSTs so I was off to find them. I started the challenge with 10 FSTs and 5 receiving blankets. By the end of the challenge, I was in love with them and bought 10 more to add to my stash.


The benefits of using FSTs as flats are:

- They are very accessible. Most chain stores have Flour Sack Towels in the kitchen linen aisle. I have found them in Wal-Mart, Target, and Meijer. 
- They are cost effective. All of them averaged $1 each.
- They work well. There is not much shrinkage, folding is easy and they are soft. Absorbency depends on the age of the towel, but I have not had many problems with them. 

Prepping them was easy. A 20 minute boil with a drop or two of Dawn dish soap and a wash in the machine and they were ready to use.

The only down side to using FSTs: They give off lint every time you wash them. In addition, this can be messy and more work. When I go to fold my clean FSTs and shake first, lint ends up all over the floor. You can tell right where I stood to fold my FSTs. This lint can also be found on baby’s bottom. Since they are always leaving lint behind, they are also becoming thinner. To this day, I still have about four FST that have been in my stash for one year, but they are so thin I can see through them, or they have holes in them. Since they thin so much I use two FSTs together to make one diaper for my child. Therefore, fifty FSTs gives me 25 diapers.

Overall, they are great for a quick pinch if you need to increase your stash, need an emergency diaper when on a trip, or want to try out flats before spending the money. If you decide flats are for you and you want them, I suggest saving and buying actual flat diapers. They may last you longer, and still be easy on your pocket book in the end.

- Luann Wells is an RDA volunteer in training to be a Circle Leader in the Low Country Real Diaper Circle.

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