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.)
You can find flour sack towels in the kitchen section of places like Wal-Mart, Target and Ikea, or online at Amazon.
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.
At first glance, I wasn’t sure about these, but I decided to withhold judgement.
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.
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.)
As is typical for any flat, the towels shrank more in one direction, and each flat shrinks a bit differently.
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!
They are definitely bulky doubled up (above left) but just fine pad folded singly (above right.)
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.
They fit fine pad folded in the small setting of a size 2 Swaddlebees Capri cover (above.)
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.
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.