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Hand Embroidered Flour Sack Dish Towel?

Hand Embroidered Flour Sack Dish Towel?

Old 01-23-2016, 10:57 AM
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Default Hand Embroidered Flour Sack Dish Towel?

I want to hand embroider some 100% cotton flour sack dish towels, but was wondering if I am suppose to put anything on the back where the back side of the embroidery stitches show. Looking forward to hearing how others do theirs.

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Old 01-23-2016, 10:59 AM
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If you starch it, you won't need to put anything on the back.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:20 AM
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What I want to know though, is it ok that the back stitching shows up? Although, I know they are usually hung on something, but just wondered if that matters. I read online where someone sewed a strip of cloth over that area on the backside.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:29 AM
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I grew up (a long, long time ago) hand embroidering flour sack tea towels...never worried about the stitches showing on the back
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:30 AM
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My mother did a lot of embroidery. She didn't put anything on the back of her dish towels. But she always told me the back should look as good as the front and hers did. Somehow she hid her knots and she never carried colors across. I didn't have the patience or the skill.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:39 AM
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so it doesn't matter if stitches show on the back?
I know that it should look nice on the back, but if if the thread is used in more than one spot? Do you carry it over or do you knot and start over in another spot? I too want to emb some towels and am wondering about this also. Does anyone have a picture of the back of a tea towel they can show us how it looks?
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:46 AM
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I have done a lot of them by hand over the years and never put anything on the back. I have been gifted many over the years and none have had anything on the back.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:26 PM
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When my aunts and I did this 60 years ago, we never worried about the backs. We allowed knots to show. We were just careful not to run a long line of thread from one area to another. If it was far, we knotted and started over. If it was closer, we might loop the thread around other stitches in the back to travel to the next area. I have some of these stored away, but have never figured out how to post photos here. If I have some time I might try to do it later this weekend.

One reason not to run long lengths of thread on the back is that the flour sacks tend to shrink a little when washed. I don't remember what we did back in the day, but I would be sure to pre-wash the flour sacks before doing all that embroidery. It's probably a good idea to starch them after washing too. We used an embroidery hoop while working.

Again, I don't know about the old days, but the flour sacks I find locally in Fleet Farm, Walmart, etc. are often not cut and hemmed on the grain of the fabric so they wash and dry "wonky". It might be worth buying better quality flour sacks online -- the ones that are made specifically for hand embroidery. They may not be perfect, but might be better than the cheapies I am familiar with these days.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:32 PM
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My grandmothers both did hand embroider and they would just weave the tails through the threads. That's what I do when I do any embroidery (hand). They prewashed all their fabric before any sewing.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:40 PM
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I do hand embroidery using a lot of Crabapple Hill designs/patterns. Their instructions call for using a muslin backing for most blocks but not for their tea towel patterns. The patterns for the towels just recommend being extra neat with your stitches so the backs will look ok. To me that just means not to travel very large areas and weave in your ends, starts and stops rather than making knots. Lynnie, I don't have any of my embroidered towels to show you since I gave them as gifts. I did one set with a Halloween design and another with snowmen. I thought they were really cute. Take a look at their website.
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