Quilting, Farming, Variety

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I need to buy new dishcloths. Each washday I hve intended to throw my old ones away; they're reduced down to not much more than holes with strings around them. They fuzz up in the washing machine and make lots of lint in the dryer.

It will be difficult to select new dishcloths. They come in so many patterns and colors: waffle weaves, terry cloth, plaids, solids, stripes, hemmed, and fringed. My old ones come in a variety of patterns and fabrics also: ends of old hand towels, tails of tee shirts, ribs of sock tops, or squares of flannel from an old sheet. These are dishrags.

Notice I said dishrags. There is a difference between dishrags and dishcloths. Dishrags come from an era when women recycled before they knew they were recycling. Every piece of fabric was used to its limit, whether it was as another wearable or as a rag. Today a young woman can throw away something before its time has come and buy virgin dishcloths. Oh it's true, some women have used an old cloth diaper for a dishcloth, but only after they experienced the unpleasantness of the waiting contents of the disper pail and decided not to be so environmentally protective after all.

I'll probably pick waffle weave dishcloths in a blue and green plaid; they'll match my blue kitchen countertop. They'll look nice and new in the drawer beside the old rags. I'll keep the old ones for a while; there's just no way I can scrub brown, scorched residue from a pot with a crisp, new dishcloth. I'll take the best of the rags for that, and maybe some of them could be used one last time as dusters. Tee shirt tails, sprayed with a little Pledge, are perfect for dusting.


  1. lil red hen, this is a nice essay and brings back memories when a rag bag was a household essential. And, chances are when you finally decide to throw away the old dishrags, they will end up in shreds for stuffing a new creation - a new rag dollie or stuffed animal!

  2. There's just something about throwing out stuff that could still have good use, isn't there. I have socks for dust rags, and old wash cloths that I save for the "really dirty" washing chores around the house...now I just need to put them to use! LOL