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Friday, February 10, 2017

Absorbant Dish Towels

I bought various types of dish towels over the years.  None of them (100% cotton or not) would wipe water cleanly.  I was frustrated.

But I knew something that would!  Old cotton t-shirts.  Cleaned every drop of water in a single wipe!  So I decided to convert them.  And you can too!

Tools:  Pinking shears, 2 identical sized pieces of plywood, 4 clamps, old worn cotton t shirts.

The pinking shears were a laugh.  I recalled my mom decades ago mentioning to me that they were for making cloth cuts that didn't fray.  So I went to a craft store and asked for one.  They had no idea what I was describing.  The clerk brought me to the fabric expert.  She thought they were for decorative cuts.  I actually had to demand to know where the scissors were.

I found a pinking shear (Fiskars, good brand).  It said right on the package :for non-fraying cuts".  I showed it to the "expert".  She was surprised.

Where do they find these people?  It was a specialty store!

Anyway, I went home with the pinking shears.

I cut 2 pieces of plywood (plywood stays flat) smaller than the T shirts. The identical size is important.

So, I placed a plywood board on a bench (raised for easy rotation).
Placed a T shirt on top
And the other plywood board on top.

Clamped them hard on the corners.

Cut around the edges of the plywood...

Voila' - 2 pieces of non-fraying cotton dishtowels...

I have 12 of them.  Just the first has stayed unfrayed and amazingly absorbent after a week's use.  They aren't for cleaning, just water-wiping.  Use those bad dishtowels for cleaning.

I am quite pleased with myself.

Besides, I hated the grey T shirts, LOL!

My next project is a mailbox delivery notification device.  There are commercial products and some DIY devices I've seen online.  I can do better.

UPDATE:   Megan asked a good question in her comment (as she so often does):  "Why was it so important to you to cut the cloths the same size?"

Answer:  It wasn't; it was only an outcome of my process.  To explain...

I cut a piece of plywood sized to maximize the area of usable T-shirt (4th picture above, avoiding the seams at the arms and neck).  I cut an identical sized piece of plywood in order to hold the T-shirt firmly between the 2 pieces.

I did THAT only so that I could cut cut the cloth easily using the edges of the plywood as a guide.

The result was identical-sized pieces of cloth from each T-shirt .  Not important, just the result...

I hope that clarifies things.  :)



Megan said...

Very poor service in the craft store.

Why was it so important to you to cut the cloths the same size? Seemed like a lot of trouble to go to.

Sydney, Australia

Megan said...

Thanks for the additional information. I can see the merits of your process - it's just that, being lazy, I wouldn't have bothered. I would have just cut into the limp T-shirt as best as I could using the pinking shears and tolerated whatever shape I could cut! LOL

Sydney, Australia

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

Reply: I also have a strong sense of geometry. Which leaves the POSSIBILTY of folding the cloths in half or quarters and sewing some edges to make them thicker and smaller.

I HAVE a sewing machine. It just that I am as inept at that as some people are at using tools that *I* am perfectly good at. LOL!

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

That is a great idea. I have the same pinking shears, I use them to cut the fabric for catnip mats.