In buying cotton and linen material for the various needs of the house, one must consider the use to be made of it and select accordingly. Towelling suitable for glass and silver is not suitable for cooking utensils, and vice versa. If cast off garments, old bed linen and the like are thriftily cherished and preserved, much exoense is saved and frequently better cloths secured than in using new. For scrubbing purposes a soft cloth that will not scratch is desirable, at the same time it must have a certain firmness and roughness for the friction necessary. One of the best materials for general purposes of this kind is the woven underwear. Outing flannel and "mill ends" are also excellent.
For drying, cloth with good absorbing quality is necessary. Cotton is undesirable, especially if new and not worn until softened. Linen is best for the purpose and is easiest to care for. It gives off less lint than cotton. Cheap qualities are less well prepared and scratch.
For dish towels, a medium light weight linen towelling is best, a still heavier for the china dishes, while a firm, heavy crash, like the Royal Russian, is serviceable for cooking utensils. The latter is also excellent for kitchen hand towels.
For washing dishes the small mops are excellent for glassware and are preferred by many for the entire dish washing. They are inexpensive and are not difficult to keep sweet with proper care. Cheesecloth is very satisfactory for silver and glass.
Cheesecloth should be kept on hand for various purposes, as wiping meat, drying lettuce when washed, tying up fish to boil, straining soups and jellies, dust cloths and many other uses. It is easily cleansed, is soft and readily absorbent when old and is free from lint. For drying windows and lamps cheesecloth is excellent, or old napkins rough dried. Old cotton, as sheets and pillow cases, is fairly good.
Hand towels may be of crash, damask or huckaback. If the latter, the Scotch or Irish is the best. The choice of material depends upon individual preference of smooth or rough surface. The damask is soft, fine and smooth, the huckaback rougher. The Irish huckaback is woven with smooth dots for overthreads and is a fine grade. The Scotch is woven looser and is more showy. It is cheaper, but is good when washed. The damask toweling is a poor absorbent, because of its smooth, satiny surface. It is cheapest to buy huckaback by the yard and hemstitch it. Fringed towels should be avoided, as they are difficult to iron well and the fringe eventually wears off, leaving unsightly ends. If fringed at all it should be tied.
Turkish toweling of good quality is best for bath towels. Although cotton, it is so woven as to be readily absorbent