Sunday, April 4, 2010

love: vintage flour sack towels

My new favorite thing to hunt for at flea markets and antique shops...vintage dish towels!

Moving to another state has encouraged me to take stock of my belongings, and I have decided that my college dorm dish towels aren't STL-worthy.

As you see above, I have found some really fun flour sack cloth towels, some in pretty designs and others are calendar towels with dates ranging from the early 60's to the late 70's...

Above is a towel that I picked up from a vendor at my local flea market.... the colors are too bright for me to believe that this is "true" vintage, but the flour sack cloth is clearly vintage itself.

The screen print, however, was just quirky enough for me to fall in elderly woman with balloons? why? its just enough irony to make me chuckle :-)

This last towel is one of my favorite calendar towels....and my oldest, dated 1966. I have read that these calendar towels were first made in the middle 50's, so I am always on the hunt for an earlier date! I have also read that they can be worth up to $30/towel....(definitely NOT what I paid for mine!)

I love the history that is told by a simple flour sack cloth dish towel, imprinted with a calendar of that given year and a picture/phrase to capture the state of America....peace and plenty....if only things were as simple today :-)


  1. You probably know this by now. The "little old lady" is a representation of the Royal Dalton figurine named "Balloon Lady". They also did a figurine entitled "Balloon Man". My father purchased the Balloon Man for my mother in the 1960's. Later that year, I found the "Balloon Lady" in an exclusive china shop in Dallas. I was 16 at the time and had my first job at the store next door. I put it in layaway for Mom for Christmas and all my pay went towards it. She still has both today. Now she is a little old lady. It is a very nostalgic piece for her. In the late 1800's and early 1900's, you could often see vendors of one sort or another huddled on the steps of St Paul's in London. Mother is English, so the subject appealed to her.

    What a nice hobby you have. I also love textiles and especially vintage laces and linens. Have fun collecting. Elizabeth from Texas.

  2. These are beautiful towels, and what a fun hobby! If you are looking to build your flour sack dishtowel collection, take a look at We have been collecting vintage artwork for many years, and we print the art on the traditional flour sack dishtowel. It has been a really fun way to bring back a lot of vintage art and a forgotten treasure in the kitchen.