The reusable coffee filter I made last week lasted two filterings. I rinsed it out, used it one more time and it developed a hole in the bottom. I washed it with the kitchen rags and just ran the sewing machine over the bottom a few times. I'll use it until it falls apart.
As far as the fabric I made it with? I thought it was cheese cloth, but it's not cheese cloth. I think it's something I got at the foodie store, and it's basically a fine thickness of muslin. After hunting all over town yesterday for a similar fabric (I even went into Fresh Market), I bought some cheese cloth and washed it, hoping it would somehow come out of the dryer resembling the cloth I used for the coffee filter. It didn't.
I'll got back to JoAnn's and see if I can find something similar.
Update on the update: I used the filter with my coffee, the old man's coffee, and the briefcase thermos I take to work. Still holding up!
Updating on the updated update: Went to the foodie store before picking DJ up from school today (Hogtownians will know this store by the name, "Kitchen n' Spice") and found what I was looking for. It really is cheesecloth, but a "finest culinary quality" cheesecloth, so it doesn't look like mummy wrappings.
Last Update, bet: second day of using the filter--after rinsing it out, I hung it to dry and it was completely dry and ready to go by the next morning. I might only need one filter-- the coffee is still tasty and the filter isn't all clogged up.