If you've been with us for a while, you know our dog, Feeney, loves to snack on paper towels. When he came to live with us a year and a half ago we quickly learned not to leave paper towels on the coffee table and we invested in covered trash cans; a small price to pay for a less disgusting morning walk....
With all this focus on paper products we became more aware of just how many paper towels we were burning through each week. And when our basement renovation left us with just enough storage space to keep only the stuff we absolutely needed and loved, it was time to evaluate the entire linen closet shelf full of rolls of paper towels, bought in giant 12-pack bulk.
At first we tried reusing sheets of paper towels, but in reality, that's just weird. I mean I have nothing against drying off the side of a mug and then setting the towel aside to use again, but we're talking dial-a-size sheets of paper here, there's not much life in those things to begin with.
We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes for baby M, so naturally I had the brilliant idea to make cloth paper towels. Lots and lots of cloth paper towels. But when I priced out Birdseye fabric and factored in my time, it didn't seem like a fun project anymore. Especially when I was spending all my free time sewing for baby M's nursery. So naturally I went to etsy and searched for cloth paper towels. And wouldn't you know, there are all kinds of unpaper towel makers out there!
I searched by price and bulk quantity and then I read descriptions. I finally settled on one seller, Love for Earth, who preshrinks her fabric first. This, I decided, was an essential feature; if left to shrink after sewing I could end up with 50 unpaper towels of all different, wonky sizes after their first wash. Wonky doesn't stack well.
I bought my unpaper towels and they arrived tied neatly with a bow. I stuck them on top of the toaster and waited for S to notice. "What's this?" he asked that night. "Unpaper towels," I replied. "You mean napkins?"
So yeah, they're like napkins except I don't wipe the counter and rinse down the sink with our napkins, do you? They're unpaper towels and we love them.