Flour Sack Towels as Flat Cloth Diapers / Comparison to Birdseye Flats

by Maria Moser on May 2, 2012

in Affiliates,Cloth Diapers,Flat Diapers,Flats,Flats Challenge,Review

flour sack towels 1 vs birdseye

As you may already know, I signed up for the flats challenge and I needed more flats. I’d never used a flour sack towel as a flat cloth diaper, and wondered how they compared to Birdseye flats (especially since they are often priced similarly.)

flour sack towels 14 pkg

You can find flour sack towels in the kitchen section of places like Wal-Mart, Target and Ikea, or online at Amazon.

flour sack towels 15 in pkg flour sack towels 16 in plg

I found a 24-pack at Sam’s Club online for $20.68. After I paid the non-member surcharge and shipping, they were just over $1 each.

flour sack towels 1 vs birdseye

At first glance, I wasn’t sure about these, but I decided to withhold judgement.

flour sack towels 2 birdseye flour sack towels 3 flour sack

Right out of the package, they seemed to have a very loose weave, and felt more like a thin restaurant napkin. More like polyester than cotton. Above is my hand behind a Birdseye flat and behind one of the towels.

flour sack towels 4 pre washing flour sack towels 5 pre washing

The particular towels I bought are pretty huge at 37″+ square prior to washing (advertised as 36″ square.) Even if you are pad folding and don’t need the extra material to fold around a larger baby, 9 extra inches in each direction is way more absorbency compared to a 27″ flat. (1296 square inches vs 729, or 77% more material if I’m doing the math right.)

flour sack towels 6 after washing flour sack towels 7 after washing

As is typical for any flat, the towels shrank more in one direction, and each flat shrinks a bit differently.

flour sack towels 8 pre and after washing

The towels don’t need to be “prepped,” but I washed & dried them several times to shrink them and get much of the lint off. After doing that, the weave was much tighter (see the photo above with one before & one after) and I was feeling much better about using these as diapers!

flour sack towels 9 doubled flour sack towels 10 single

They are definitely bulky doubled up (above left) but just fine pad folded singly (above right.)

flour sack towels 11 pad fold inside origami fold flour sack towels 12 pad inside origami
flour sack towels 13 pad in origami

One pad folded inside another origami folded give double absorbency with slightly less bulk. It was similar to my son’s night time pockets which are stuffed with a Knickernappies Superdo insert.

flour sack towels 17 in small sz 2 capri flour sack towels 18 in small sz 2 capri

They fit fine pad folded in the small setting of a size 2 Swaddlebees Capri cover (above.)

flour sack towels 19 in lg size 2 capri flour sack towels 20 in lg size 2 capri

They also fit pad folded in the large setting of the size 2 Swaddlebees Capri. A single towel was OK for my 4 1/2 month old and my almost 3-year old, as long as I changed them regularly.

flour sack towels 21 doubled in origami flour sack towels 22 doubled in origami

I put one pad folded inside an origami folded flour sack towel, and my older son wore it for more than 4 hours. It’s hard to judge absorption with him sometimes, since he can stay dry for a while and then flood a diaper, but I intentionally left this combo on him longer than usual to test it. When we took it off, the wings of the origami folded towel were barely damp (though most of the rest of the combo was pretty soaked!) I am pleasantly surprised! I’m also hoping to finally buy the un-paper towel house I’ve been pining over forever, and use these as un-paper towels when I’m finished with them as diapers (I might need to cut them into quarters and find someone to serge the edges for me!)

FTC compliance: All pictured items were purchased at normal retail prices. Although this post contains an affiliate link, I was not compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tamara May 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I’ve been using old flannel receiving blankets on my 21 month old. I just pad fold them and put them inside a Thirsties Duo cover and they work great–very absorbent. We are a few pocket diapers short of a full stash and these make shift diapers work great as a cheap (free) way to add a few diapers to our stash!

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2 C Hulsey May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Thank you so much for this post! Now I know that I shouldn’t have put back the pack of flour sack towels at Wal-Mart last night because of the very loose weave. I need to go back to Wal-Mart now…

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3 Justice May 3, 2012 at 1:45 am

I’m already cloth diapering my infant. We have been trying really hard with zero funds to expand our stash….so our toddler can be in cloth too. On a whim, I bought a lot of 20 inserts a couple months ago knowing that I would be buying more diapers sans insert. Well, I’ve been a MF insert, folded in half at the front of his diaper, and a funky folded gerber burp cloth flat to cover it and the rest of a cover on the toddler to see if we could actually put him in cloth…..I have $30 for diapers budgeted this month. I told DH last night, I’m spending $15 of that on flour sack towels this week. I have a 27 pack of disposables. He can wear them at night if he has to, but putting him in flats with MF inserts will really not increase the diaper laundry at all because I’m already doing it. We basically have $12 at the end of the month for TP and other things that we NEED…and I can make that almost $30 if I put him in flats and share the stash….we don’t have time to wait for me to ‘win’ something, or find a free sewing machine somewhere so that I can make some diapers out of upcycled materials, we need to start NOW. So we are. I personally LOVE flats. They work nice for our infant too. I only have two of the flour sack towels, but I like those in the diapers a lot better than the way too small gerber burpies. The work good in a pinch to wrap around or cover some MF’s though. Plus, I can also handwash in a pinch too!

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4 Anna November 16, 2012 at 7:21 am

Great info! Did you happen to measure them after shrinking? I have some from Sam’s that are about 32″ just curious if they are the same. Thank you!

Anna

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5 Maria November 16, 2012 at 8:13 am

I did! Above I took photos before & after washing. Looks like about 35 1/4 x 31.5″. They were advertised as 36″ and were about that before washing. :-)

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