About ACS Home & Work

ACS Home & Work, also known as The American Chair Store, is an American, family-owned supplier of high quality soft goods based in Allendale, Michigan. We supply bath, kitchen and craft linens and goods to creative entrepreneurs, everyday users and small businesses across the country. While we are a wholesale supplier and offer wholesale pricing, we sell each of our products in individual quantities, which makes our catalog accessible to everyone, from home users to large-scale retailers. Our hands-on processing and meticulous sourcing also ensures our products are ethically and sustainably made. ACS Home & Work offers the highest quality, whether you’re purchasing three towels or 3,000.

Purchases of virtually any quantity can be made quickly and easily through our online store. Tiered bulk discounts are automatically calculated during checkout. We personally review each individual order, so if your order requires special attention, we will flag it and contact you with solutions to help you get the best cost, quality and delivery time. If you have questions about bulk and standard order quantities and costs, read more about Who We Serve.

We’re best known for our high quality American Flour Sack Towels, a versatile, lint-free alternative to paper towels perfect for kitchen and culinary use, screen printing, embroidery and other crafts. Nostalgic and endlessly re-usable, our flagship product is a revelation of efficient quality in a disposable world.

In addition to high quality and scalable quantities, we offer a range of services to customize your soft goods. Embroidery, screen printing, cutting and sewing are available for nearly all our soft goods products.

Have questions about how to customize your order? Read more about our Services.

Mission & Values

At ACS Home & Work, we value quality, honesty and fairness, and we strive to apply these values to everything we do.

Our mission is simple: to make it easy for individuals and businesses to purchase high quality, sustainably made soft goods, and to make a positive impact on everything our businesses touches – from our customers, employees, and contractors to the people who weave our cotton and the land from which it’s harvested.

About Our Soft Goods

Businesses and everyday people alike will find something – or many things – to love about our soft goods. Ethically sourced, locally processed and meticulously inspected for quality, our towels and linens are perfect for craft, kitchen and bath.

Our flagship product is the classic American Flour Sack Towel, which is a favorite for both artists and everyday home users. Made from the same material that our great-grandparents used for countless household items between the 1850’s and 1950’s, our American Flour Sack Towels are a throwback of universal utility, quality and sustainability.

Our Flour Sack Towels are 100% cotton, lint free, and have unequalled abosrbency, making them the perfect universal and re-usable tool for cleaning. They leave windows, chrome and glassware shining and streak-free, and they’re ideal for bread and pie making and a host of other culinary uses. Starting at just $2 per towel, Flour Sack Towels are a cost-effective, green replacement to disposable paper towels and wipes.
Whether you’re looking for Natural Flour Sack Tea Towels on which to screen print your latest illustration, need bar mop towels for your new pizzeria, or would simply like to green your kitchen and ditch paper towels, the ACS Home & Work store has something for you.

All of our goods, from flour sack towels to pillows and aprons, have been carefully sourced and selected to ensure quality and sustainability at every step of the supply chain. We source USA-made products whenever possible, and we’ve built close relationships with factories that are proven to use only ethical and environmentally sound practices. Our carefully vetted factories have longstanding relationships with their farmers, and monitor to ensure environmental and ethical practices are used. Whether they’re made in the USA, Brazil, China or India, no land or employees are being abused in the process of producing our soft goods.

Intrigued, or have questions about the history of our products and how they’re made? Read the Story of Soft Goods.

About the Company

ACS Home & Work began 16 years ago as “The American Chair Store”, under the ownership of B2B veteran Ted Parrish. Having worked in a variety of business environments across West Michigan, from logistics to hospitality supply, Ted started The American Chair Store to provide high quality soft goods to hospitality businesses.

When the company first started, it focused on new construction business from hotels and restaurants. When real estate took a hit along with the rest of the economy in 2001, like many business owners, Ted had to adapt and target a new customer base. Launching off his knowledge of the soft goods industry and the vendor relationships The American Chair Store had developed, Ted began exploring wholesale opportunities with artists, everyday consumers and retailers. The company’s focus shifted to a broader range of consumer, hospitality and craft products, and The American Chair Store became ACS Home & Work.

The re-imagined ACS Home & Work slowly grew, despite lean economic times, thanks to the hard work of Ted’s dedicated team, and his consistent focus on quality and personalized customer service.

Today, Ted Parrish and his close-knit team look forward to making a positive impact every day. If you were to ask Ted what he does every day, he would tell you “I don’t work for a living – this is what I do for fun. Every day, I see ordinary people doing amazing things – my employees, my customers, my contractors and my suppliers – and it’s incredibly energizing.”

According to Ted, “our business is just a tool to help people and businesses solve a problem, and we all work together to create solutions. This is my Disney Land. And we aim to share that positive energy with everyone our business touches.”

The Story of Soft Goods

Soft goods are fabric products, typically used in hospitality, which range from pillows to bar mops. Specializing in soft goods requires having a robust, close-knit network of suppliers who specialize in various types of fabric, fill and assembly. In order to offer the highest quality, most sustainably produced products as well as the most cost-effective wholesale pricing, we work with factories across the US, the Americas and Asia.

So, what exactly is the story of the soft goods we sell at ACS? It’s a story that begins with the frugality of our great-grandparents, and all-American ingenuity.

Between the 1850’s and 1950’s, nearly all consumer goods were packaged in tightly woven cotton bags known as flour sack. Transporting everything from flour and sugar to chicken feed, sausage and voting ballots, traditional American Flour Sack material became as valuable as the goods it packaged. In times when consumer goods were hard to come by and household budgets were tight, thrifty housewives quickly discovered that this tightly woven, 100% cotton material was not only re-usable but vastly versatile. They would wash and bleach these flour sacks, then cut and sew them into underwear, pillowcases, toys, dresses, and – most commonly – kitchen towels. The legacy of re-using flour sack was passed down from mother to daughter over the years.

Despite the popularity of repurposed flour sack soft goods, textile mills didn’t catch on and mass produce the material into household goods. The commercialization of flour sack towels began with a Russian immigrant living in Chicago. He would scour the city’s dumpsters for perfectly good flour sack, then process and resell them as kitchen towels and other goods. This was exactly what rural housewives were doing, but the Russian-born entrepreneur tapped Chicago’s large market of homes and businesses, and he quickly grew a flourishing business. Even after flour companies switched to using paper sacks, flour sack towels remained a part of daily life in dime stores across the country.

With the industrialization of consumer goods in the 1950s, however, the importance of thriftiness and recycling everyday items disappeared, and flour sack towels were replaced by paper towels and disposable products. Despite the fade in their popularity, traditional American flour sack towels offer absorbency, cost-efficiency and lint-free performance that modern products have yet to match.

Today, our old-world quality soft goods are sourced in much the same way they were when our grandparents and their parents used them. We’ve built close relationships with the small handful of textile mills around the world with the legacy expertise to produce flour sack material the way it was made in its hayday. We know exactly where our products come from, and how they’re made at each step in the supply chain, from the soil to our doorstep.

Most of our mills’ cotton is grown in the warm sunshine of Indian cotton fields, and is then harvested and woven by local farming communities which have perfected their craft over generations. The factories and mills we do business with work only with cotton farmers who have taken every precaution to protect the land on which cotton is grown and the livelihoods of the employees who harvest it.

Many of our customers want to know if the cotton products we sell are “certified organic”. While the short answer to this question is “no”, there’s much more to the story. The farmers and mills we work with have not undergone the vastly expensive, logistically complex process of gaining official organic certification. In many cases this process is simply too cost-prohibitive, and would price their products out of the market. Instead, they rely on the same holistic, sustainable farming methods which farmers have used for generations to produce both a quality product and healthy land for future generations. The mills and factories we purchase from have built long-term relationships with the farmers who supply them, and sustainability is key to how they do business.

Each cotton mill and factory we work with specializes in producing specific types of soft goods. Some of these are in the USA, while others are in China, Brazil or Canada. We choose factories and mills which offer a combination of a) the highest quality product, b) the most ethical, sustainable practices, and c) the best price point, which we can in turn offer in wholesale to our customers.

After we purchase soft goods in bulk from our longstanding suppliers, we process them, customize them, and inspect them for quality. In the case of American Flour Sack Towels and many other products, these goods come to us in “raw” form. They’re hemmed, but aren’t yet washed. In their raw form, flour sack towels are stiff and non absorbent. To ensure our products arrive to our customers in perfect quality and ready to use, we process flour sack towels and many other materials by bleaching them, vigorously washing them twice and lightly ironing them. Natural products aren’t bleached during processing.

Processing and laundering is performed in-house at our own laundry facility here in West Michigan.

Next, we cut, hem and sew our raw goods which require processing – like the flour sack table runners we offer. Cutting and sewing services are provided by contractors who live and work from their homes right here in West Michigan.

Embroidery and screen printing are performed by a small number of trusted service providers, also here in West Michigan. Many artists who sell custom screen-printed craft products rely on us to customize, print and even package their products for end users. Like our factories and sewing contractors, we’ve developed close relationships with these service providers, and can guarantee our customers the best combination of quality and cost-efficiency – while investing in our local economy.

Last, each and every one of our products is sorted, inspected for quality, prepped and packaged here in our Coopersville facility. Business operations, order fulfillment and customer service are also conducted here in Coopersville.

From the sunny fields of India to a self-employed West Michigan seamstress all the way to your own home’s kitchen, ACS Home & Work ensures that you and your customers will not only love your soft goods, but will feel good about owning them.

Who We Serve

We serve many different types of customers, from individuals buying for their own homes to successful artists selling tens of thousands of custom printed towels and totes each year. Customers and businesses of all sizes can place orders quickly from our easy-to-use website.

Who are our customers, exactly?

  • Individuals (for gifts or personal use)
  • Hand embroiderers & crafters
  • Artists, designers & creative entrepreneurs
  • Cleaning companies
  • Bakeries & pizzerias
  • Restaurants & bars
  • Medical, dental & chiropractic offices
  • Caterers
  • Boutique hotels

How soft goods are priced

Because we deal directly with our mills and produce many of our products in-house, we offer near wholesale-level pricing to all our customers – even those purchasing just one or two products.

The higher quantities our customers purchase, the lower the cost per item. Pricing tiers are listed on each product page, and bulk discounts are calculated automatically during checkout. There’s no need to contact us for most bulk orders – it’s just as easy to order 1 flour sack towel as it is to order 1,000.

Ordering from ACSHomeandWork.com

Most orders, small or large, can be made quickly and easily from our website. Orders which require custom screen printing, embroidery or cutting and sewing can be made easily by submitting designs and specifications on our Contact Us page.

If you’re unsure at all about how to place your order, or have questions about availability, please contact us! We’re happy to help you personally.

Small & standard orders

All our products offer tiered pricing, which is automatically calculated during checkout. That means it’s just as simple to order 1 flour sack towel as it is to order 1,000.

Whether you’re buying a special Christmas gift for an aging parent or are purchasing your restaurant’s annual supply of bar mop towels, your order can be placed quickly and easily through our website.

For non-flour sack products, orders up to 300 can be placed online. For flour sack products, quantities up to 12,000 can be ordered online.

Special and large bulk orders

For our business customers purchasing volumes of over 3,000 of our flour sack products, or 300 of any other product, we recommend reaching out to us, so we can process your order directly. This way, we can ensure we give you our best price, at the lowest available shipping rates, on the timeline you expect.

Because our operation is focused on product quality rather than sheer volume, it’s not always possible to immediately ship orders in the 100s (non-flour sack products) or over 3,000 (flour sack products). We often have these quantities on hand, but occasionally we need to restock. We like to connect with customers ordering these quantities or higher to make sure we’re hitting your deadline.

We review each and every online order carefully to ensure proper discounts and shipping charges are applied. If your order raises any questions or flags, we’ll personally contact you to make sure you get the right product on time, at a fair price.

Orders higher than 300 (non-flour sack products) or over 12,000 (flour sack products) may exceed our capabilities. If your order fits this description, we recommend reaching out to us using the Contact Us page. We may be able to connect you with a trustworthy supplier who can handle your extra large order.

Testimonials

Thanks – Love the flour sack towels! I am embroidering a set for
Christmas for my adult children – a bit of nostalgia, as my grandmother used to do the same from the real flour sacks.
– PR

Thank you so very much for this order. I ordered several dozen
towels …… and these are THE ONES I have been seeking. I
will be recommending you to all of my embroidery, quilting, and
crafty friends. Thank you again.
– Valerie B.

We’re a small hotelito on Caribbean coast of Mexico, and have been using the flour sack towels for our guests in our kitchens. We ship to our friends in NYC who bring to us. Thank you for
SUCH INCREDIBLE QUALITY, we love it.
– Margo

I just ordered 20 towels from your place. They are great! Just what I wanted. When I told my 30 year old daughter that I found a new place to get towels she was thrilled. The rep who I talked to was very friendly and courteous. I can not believe how quickly I received them). Thank you very much!
– BD

Please accept our gratitude, and that of the other 11 people who will shortly be using your towels; and thanks too for the tremendous effort you made to get the order to us in the nick of time. Please convey our appreciation also to your staff which worked hard to give us service such is seldom experienced these days.
– Katherine

I heard about your flour sack towels from a friend, and decided to give them a try, so I bought three to use in my kitchen. They were fantastic! Super absorbent and no lint residue. I was so happy with them that I ditched my paper towels and bought ten more. Now everyone in my family will be getting flour sack towels for Christmas.
Thanks for the great products and great service!
– MS

Shipping

At ACS, we have an honest, up front, low cost shipping policy. We look for the lowest priced shipping options for our customers. If our shipping costs are calculated too high, we will refund the difference.

Shipping costs depend on the destination, as well as the weight and quantity being shipped.

When you check out, we offer several shipping options through FedEx and Priority Mail. Costs are calculated during checkout.

Due to the intensive nature of how we process and inspect each of our products, orders ship within 5-7 business days after they’re placed. We’ll email your confirmation order immediately.

If you need your order sooner than this, please call us at 888-374-5250, and we will discuss options for expediting your order, if possible.

Care of Towels

Before using new towels:

We recommend washing all of our products before use, to remove sizing and residue from the towels. Bath towels will need several washings before the fibers thicken and the towels “fluff”. With all our towels, we recommend washing several times to improve the thickness and absorbency.

Tips for maintaining clean, absorbent towels:

  • launder towels frequently
  • wash Flour Sack Towels in warm water, tumble dry or air dry, iron if desired. Bleach as needed
  • DO NOT use fabric softener – it clogs the fibers and reduces the absorbency of the towels
  • wash colored towels separately from whites
  • wash aprons in cold water, delicate cycle, hang to dry
  • bleach white towels occasionally to keep bright white and fresh-looking
  • when ironing cotton, use a hot iron on steam setting for best results
  • never iron terry towels, as this flattens the loops and reduces absorbency
  • smooth freshly dried towels by hand before folding and putting them away to remove wrinkles.
  • examine towels periodically for loose ends and pulled threads, and clip these rather than pulling them
  • rotate your linens! This will help them last longer
  • wonder cloths can be machine laundered and dried, or hand washed and hung to dry