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Stitching for a Sustainable Kitchen Wednesday, October 12 2022

Focus on organic for the home is expanding from the food we eat to the materials we wear and use around our homes.  One great place to start using organic textiles is in the kitchen. 



organic dish towel 

Dish Towels

Fabrics that work well for dish towels are Natural Linen, Hemp Linen, and GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Muslin.  Simply cut fabric to size and hem.

 organic dish cloths

Dishcloths & Paperless Towels

Sponges and paper towels can get a lot of use in the kitchen!  Save money and natural resources by replacing these items with cloth dishcloths and paperless towels.  Easy to make, these are machine washable and can be reused for a long time.  

A yard of fabric will make quite a few dishcloths or paperless towels, or use fabric left over from other projects.  Knits, such as French Terry and Interlock, make hefty cloths and don’t need any finishing along the edges.  Woven fabrics, such as flannel, double gauze, and terry cloth are also good, but the edges will need to be finished with a hem or a overlocked edge to prevent raveling.  

Check out our Paperless Towels kit here.

tote bag


From shopping to storing produce, replacing plastic with reusable cloth bags helps to keep those bags out of the landfill. 

Reusable cloth shopping bags should be made of one or two layers of sturdy cloth, such as Twill or Duck, with strong doubled self-fabric or webbing handles.  Pockets can be added inside or out. 

Cloth produce bags can be used and reused many times to bring home your produce and store it.  Use Voile or Double Gauze for a lightweight bag, and for a more hefty bag, use Organic Cotton Muslin.  A Flat Braid or Twill Tape drawstring can be added to close the top.

Check out our reusable bag patterns and kits here.

reusable coffee filters and tea bags

Coffee Filters and Tea Bags

Did you know that many coffee filters and tea bags are bleached?  Avoid the chemicals by making your own from undyed organic cotton fabric.  For coffee filters, try Organic Cotton Muslin, and for reusable tea bags, Double Gauze and Voile are good choices.   

pastry cloth

Pastry Cloths/Couches

Linen and Organic Cotton/Hemp Blend Linen are great for creating cloths used in baking.  If you like to make pies, pastries, or cookies, a pastry cloth works well to keep the dough from sticking to the counter and rolling pin.  And bread bakers will love a Linen couche for proofing bread dough.


NOTE: Prewashing materials before using them for food is recommended.


    October 21, 2022 Sarah says:

    This is awesome. I don’t know why it just occurred to me how easy and how much cheaper it would be to make these basic things at home.

    October 30, 2022 Sara M says:

    This is a fine blog post, filled with good ideas. Thanks! I would add to the list: make your own cloth napkins, I use a good-quality quilting cotton for mine. A half yard makes two napkins, a fat quarter makes one. I cut a 17′ × 17′ square (though they could be smaller – but I wouldn’t go lower than 14-15" or so), then fold down the corners about an inch, press, then fold down 1/4" all around, press, then fold down another 1/4" all around (to make mitered corners), press, and run a zig-zag or straight stitch all the way around. I have a big pile of these, some matching, some not, and we use them all the time. They are washable, colorful, fun to make and use. Good gifts, too! If you are a quilter, I’ll bet you have napkin-worthy fabric sitting around.

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