By using fabric pouches while shopping, we can greatly reduce the waste we create. A fabric pouch is vital in our effort to reduce our ecological footprint, and what’s even better? We can make it ourselves!
Ways we can use fabric pouches :
- To buy bread and other pastries
- Nuts (in bulk)
- Rice, legumes, cereals (in bulk)
- Fruits and veggies
- To store food on the go (e.g. a cereal bar)
I now have so many fabric pouches that I don’t have to use any sort of disposable packaging ever again. I use my fabric pouches at the farmer’s market, for nuts, legumes and bread and I always have 3 small pouches in my bag …just in case! When I want to buy something, I ask them to put the product directlyinto the pouch.
For a medium size fabric pouch, you will need :
- A piece of cotton fabric, size 60 x 31 cm.
- Needle and thread or sewing machine
- A piece of cotton rope, size 80 cm
- A pair of scissors
- An iron
- A pencil
- A ruler
- A safety pin
- Iron the fabric
- Fold the edges side A for 1.5 cm on each side, and secure by ironing and placing the pins
- On the same side of the folded fabric, fold side B for 3.5 cm and iron to temporarily secure.
- With the pencil, draw a 2 cm line and place the pins, as seen in the picture.
- With a sewing machine or by hand, sew where you marked with the pencil on both sides B. This is where the rope will go at the end.
- After sewing both sides B, fold the fabric in half and secure with pins.
- Sew the two sides, as seen in the picture, until the sewed lines on sides A. Be careful not to cross this line because the rope will not go throught.
- At the end of the rope, place the safety pin. The safety pin will help you pass the rope through the loop you have created on both sides of the fabric.
- Pass the rope and tie a knot at the end, as seen in the picture. The knot should be a few inches from the edge of the shape / fabric for a more comfortable use.
- Turn the fabric inside out and you’re done! Wash with green soap and the pouch is ready to use!
Useful notes :
- It is important to choose a lightfabric, so that the cost of the products you buy doesn’t increase.
- It’s best if you choose cotton fabric, so that food doesn’t come into contact with any synthetic fabric.
- Depending on the intensity and frequency of the use, wash regularly.. For example, the bags I use to buy fruit and vegetables are washed once a week *. This is necessary because they stain easily (e.g. from beets) or get a strong odor (e.g. from onions). The pouches that I use for nuts or bread, I wash every 10 days as they leave don’t have stains or odors.
- Pay attention to the contents of the pouches and transferto glass containers or not accordingly. Meaning, if you put bread in a fabric pouch, you can keep it there since the bread will be preserved just fine for 2-3 days. If you put legumes, rice or nuts, transfer them in glass jars as soon as you get home, especially during the summer months. For fruits and vegetables,it is best if you stored them in the refrigerator as soon as you get home, although I leave a lot of vegetables in the bags and put them in the refrigerator as is. They are preserved perfectly for the whole week until I go to the farmer’s market again.
- You can make pouches in various sizes depending on your needs. Using the following technique, you can make small pouches for nuts, large ones for fruits and vegetables, etc.
- If you don’t have a piece of cotton fabric at your disposal, there are alternatives. You can use an old pillowcase and just add a rope on top. You can also use a kitchen towel and sew it according to the above instructions!
Washing and care :
- Take care of the pouches so that they last for years. It is important to clean them regularly so that they don’t pick up bacteria that will be transferred to the food. I wash them either by hand with green soap and hot water, or in the washing machine with saponin nuts along with the rest of my canvas bags.
- If the fabric is thin (which is desirable while weighing the produce), it is likely to tear over time. In that case, patch them and continue using them normally.
Extra tips :
- You can embroider your name, or a word depending on the use they will have. For example: “Nuts” or “Bread” etc.
- If you intend on making various pouches in different sizes, you can use a different color of rope depending on the size of the pouch to distinguish easily. When I carry 15 pouches while shopping, it’s way easier for me to distinguish the sizes by the colors.
- You can choose different designs and colors in the cotton fabrics that you will use, make 5 pouches in different sizes and give them as a gift to a loved one.
- Plus, Isn’t a large pouch the perfect shoe bag for when you travel?
So what do you think? Will you try it?
Based on the technique I showed you, you can let your imagination run wild and develop the idea into something of your own.
See you soon,