March 18, 2016 in Brown Sheep

Weaving Hand Towels with Cotton Fine

I’m really excited about my latest weaving project. I intended for these hand towels to turn out bright, bold, and cheery. They did turn out that way, but so far everyone I’ve shown them to also describes them as “psychedelic”. I chose 7 pastel colors in Cotton Fine for the warp, and decided to weft with black for high contrast.

The warp colors look almost baby-like. .  but just wait for the black weft. It really changes the effect!

I wanted to make a set of 6 towels, so I measured 6 yards of warp. My reed was set at 18 ends per inch. This came out to be 50 ends of each color (350 total ends); 300 yards per color. Two skeins of each warp color was more than enough.

Colors are CW795 Whispering Periwinkle, CW863 Apricot Nectar, CW620 Banana, SW250 Pink Azalea, CW640 Spryte, CW555 Robin Egg Blue, and CW305 Tropical Coral

According to Judy from Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins, the appropriate ratio of length to width for hand towels is 1.67. So, I measured the width of my piece in the loom (18 inches) and multiplied it by 1.67 to arrive at the length of each towel: 30 inches.

The weft is CW005 Cavern. My loom is a Schacht 36″ Mighty Wolf.

Each of the 6 towels was a different kind of twill. I found most of the twill patterns from the Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon (one of my favorite books to browse through while eating breakfast!). Several of the patterns were free-styled as I wove.
Between each towel I wove a small section in a contrasting color of Cotton Fine in plain weave.
When my piece was off the loom, I washed it and let it dry. Then, I sewed a line of zigzag stitch along the edge of each towel.

Then, I cut them apart with my handy-dandy rotary cutter (thanks, mom!) and sewed a hem on the ends. I am not much of a sewer and needed some assistance from the mother-in-law, but it was really pretty easy.

The finished towels, after some shrinkage from washing and hemming, are about 17 inches wide by 26 inches long.

Here are snippets of my 6 different twill patterns

 I’m hoping to treat these just like store-bought towels, putting them through the washing machine and a low heat setting on the dryer. I think these will make really great gifts and will definitely add a loud pop of color to any kitchen or bathroom.

Thanks to everyone who helped me on this project! Happy weaving!



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