8/2 cotton

I know there has been some discussion of softer and harder twisted types of 8/2 cotton, but I was not able to find anything by searching.  I think what I remember may be buried in one of the daily posts forums.  I made some kitchen towels of unlabeled unmercerized mill end cotton that turned out really well.  I used a huck check pattern from Strickland's 8 shaft book.  I want to make more, and I'm trying to figure out whether to use the softer or more tightly twisted brands of 8'2 cotton.  I don't have any yarn left from the earlier project to look at.  These things are super absorbant and have worn like iron.  Attractive, too.  Anybody have any thoughts on using these cottons for towels?


Posted on Sat, 01/24/2015 - 03:35

My only quality check is with waffle weave dishrags - I make them every 5 years or so as they are fiddly. The first set was made with whatever 8/2 I could find and the subsequent sets are with the 8/2 (or 2/8) unmercerized from Brassard  it has just a bit more twist and the dishrags last longer and don't shred when wiping up the burners on a gas range. They are super absorbant and do a great job on the countertops as well.

Posted on Sat, 01/24/2015 - 14:32

I will follow this thread with interest!  I love weaving dishtowels, and keep flip-flopping between getting 8/2 or something finer - 10/2 pearle? 22/2 cotto-lin?  I've been scouring the yarn reviews on Ravelry:


there are discussions of 8/2 yarns, and I know that many people like the UKI and like Brassard, but that valley yarns from Webs has some detractors.  Any thoughts out there for what to use to get something a bit finer than 8/2?

Posted on Sat, 01/24/2015 - 04:21

I ordered from Georgia Yarn Co. (Michael)


some 10/2 Georgia cotton which hopefully will arrive tomorrow.  This isn't dyed, but I wanted to be able to dye my own.  For dishtowels, I really like using Cottolin or Nialin that I get from Glimakra USA.  It also comes in a 16/2 weight.  I haven't used the 16/2, but I really like the 8/2 for towels, they are very soft and very absorbent.

Posted on Sat, 01/24/2015 - 17:02

I use mostly 8/2 cotton for my towels and enjoy they way they feel.  Saying that, I have wove some Monk's Belt towels on 16/2 with 8/2 as pattern and they have a completely different touch to them, fine-feeling almost luxurious.  I have also woven towels with 10/2 organically colored cottons that have a fantastic touch as well.

My experience with the different 8/2's is this:  the Bassards yarn have a silky touch with the tighter twist and I have found the mill ends and WEBS brand to have a harsher feel to my hand.  They all weave up well, but I personally think that the Bassards has a nicer finish.  I have also had some very bad luck with WEBS - I have thrown out a cone of black and a cone of light blue WEBS yarn because all it did was break while weaving.  I have always had a higher percent of breakage with WEBS yarns so I have stopped using them.  This is just my experience, I have bought other things from WEBS, but I stay away from their 8/2 yarns.  I have been in the process of changing most of my 8/2 yarns to Bassards, but since I have a ridiculous stash of 8/2, it is taking awhile to get through it all.

Posted on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 14:14

The weight of a dish towl is a preference thing 10/2, 8/2 or even 16/2 and 20/2. Some folks like thin dish towels, others a litte thicker. When your talking Bassard's are we talking the supplier in Quebec or an actual yarn manufacturer? If it's the loom people, Camilla Valley has the same yarn. I have had no troubles with the non merc.

Posted on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 13:39

Has anyone that lives in the U. S. ordered yarn directly from Brassard Fils? I was just curious since the prices seem very reasonable and I live closest to them but in the U.S.

Posted on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 14:03

I'm following this thread, too.  Just finished 22/2 Nialin waffle weave dishtowels from Simple Weaves on 5 shafts and can't stop squeezin' 'em.  I like the weight of plain weave Nialin towels, too.  I've given these as gifts over the last year (what family expects of a new weaver, no doubt), and recipients enjoy the easy care (wash-n-dry, no iron) nature of the towels.  I'm glad they are getting used and are not becoming Cult Objects!  I like the hand feel of Noho flake in a dishtowel: I used a kit from Yarn Barn of Kansas, very soft and thick towel -- comforting for me!

Posted on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 16:10

Bassards, I do mean the yarn that they carry.  I have ordered directly from Canada and I do live in the US.  You have to establish an account with them first.  They have a yarn sample catalog that is just a feast to the eyes and hands, has snips of almost all of the yarn that they carry.

Posted on Sun, 01/25/2015 - 21:27

After reading everyone's comments (and thanks for the link to Ravelry's yarn reviews),  I have decided to go with Brassard's 8/2.  I'll let everyone know how these turn out.  The previous version was made in very inexpensive mill end cotton as an experiment.  I think that the warp and weft floats make the towels more absorbant.

Posted on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 10:11

I have used the UKI 8/2 for dish towels, with a pebble weave so it takes a slight dimple when hot washed, and they are very absorbent but not strong and don't look like they will last very long.  I think next time I will spend the extra money and try the Bocken 8/2.

Posted on Tue, 02/10/2015 - 18:25

Yarn Barn of Kansas has both qualities of 2/8 cotton. Look for the fine print that says it is suitable for warp. The Woolery carries Brassard yarns.

The difference between the two yarns? 8/2 cotton is a shorter staple and open end spun. 2/8 cotton is longer staple and ring spun. According to industry, open end spun is weaker than ring spun. Think woolen as opposed to worsted prep and spinning. (I don't mean worsted as per knitting terms but spinning terms)

You might want to check Handwoven a few issues ago where I did an article for their Yarn Lab where I looked at how density affects absorbency. Or my blog. Click on the absorbency label.



Posted on Wed, 02/11/2015 - 11:53

Queezle, if some of thier yarn reviews are like their book reviews over there I would hold my breath and count to 5. When a yarn supplier thinks writting a book is as simple as snapping photos with a cell phone and plegurizing other authors for content, it's time to move on. There are a few good reviews there, but most are like entering a coffee shop and discussing what's on one's mind for that day. ;) And that is only the start of it for me to avoid the place.

Posted on Wed, 02/11/2015 - 12:48



The only
thing 8/2 (2/8)Ne cotton means is there are 3360 yarns per pound. That said,
How the yarn is produced will
determine what the feel of the yarn is. Below I list some ways how the yarn is
made. Most yarn sold to weavers has a water soluble wax coating on them. This
is what makes them feel slick. UKI Supreme 8/2 KP yarn I sell is waxed. The
Georgia grown cotton I sell is not waxed (ready to dye) RS and can be either CP
or KP.  Because it is not waxed there is
a little more lint.

I hope this
answers some of your questions.


RS Ring Spun, KP Carded, CP Carded and Combed

Carded KP

A Yarn In Which The Fibers Have Been Partially Straightened And Cleaned Prior
To Spinning. The Yarn Is Generally Coarser And More Uneven Than A Combed Yarn.


Combed CP

Refers To A Process In The Manufacture Of Cotton And Other Staple Yarns. The
Fiber Is Combed To Remove Foreign Matter And The Shorter, Undesirable Fibers,
Leaving Longer, More Desirable Fibers That Become Straightened & Aligned In
Parallel Before Spinning Into Yarn. Combed Yarns Are Finer, Cleaner And More
Even Than Those That Are Not Combed.


Ring Spun RS

A Yarn Spinning Method In Which Roving ( A Thin Strand Of Fiber With Very
Little Twist) Is Fed To A "traveler" With Rotates Around The Edge Of
A Ring. Inside The Ring Is A Faster Rotating Bobbin . The Process
Simultaneously Twists The Roving Into Yarn And Winds It Around The Bobbin. Ring
Spun Yarns Are Generally Stronger Than Open End Yarns.

 Open End




Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 16:32

UKI 8/2 is OE KP. My line of 8/2 Georgia grown cotton is RP CP unwaxed ready to be dyed.

Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 19:05

pretty please? for us who find it difficult to guess in foreign languages - what is OE (Open End?) KP (can't guess) and RP (if R is Ring, then what is P? Processed?) CP (no idea)


Posted on Mon, 04/04/2016 - 21:12

I have ordered cotto-lin directly from them in years past. Don't know if you still can.

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 13:46

The towels that I made from Brassard's were very good; dense, soft, and sold well.  I also made some in a cheaper mill end that were visibly different.  At the same sett (24 epi) it took a much heavier beat to make the same density of cloth.  In terms of the time spent weaving, I think Brassard's is worth the extra cost.  Is there an advantage to to ordering directly from the mill?  At the discount offered by The Woolery, it comes to about $20/lb.  Yarn Barn of Kansas' B cotton is actually Brassards (the colors are Brassard numbers), but they have renamed the colors from Brassard's.  Michael's Georgia cotton seems to have the same silkyness that Brassard's does, and if it ever warms up here, I intend to do an indigo dye bath with it.  I do prefer to buy dyed cotton for towels to be sold.  The indigo dye will be yardage.

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 13:54

Dyed cotton is $12 pound from me, from the barn $17.75. To purchase from me you have to buy 5 cones. You can mix or match colors and sizes to get the 5. UKI's requirerment not mine. 

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 14:12

Let me just say that I have really enjoyed the 8/2 cotton that I purchased from Michael.  I like to dye, and have also bought undyed, but my time is so limited that dyeing my own adds a lot of additional time to the process.  So that means that the dyed cotton is the primary thing I use.

Posted on Tue, 04/05/2016 - 14:56

You can order direct from Bassards - you have to establish an account first than you are set.  I am in the process of putting a yarn order together with some other weavers.  Sharing the shipping expense can help with yarn weight.

Posted on Mon, 05/09/2016 - 17:00

I have a rigid heddle 15 inch flip. I would like to make dish towels. I have a 12 dent reed.  Is this possible.  What would you use for cotton ? 

Posted on Mon, 05/09/2016 - 19:52


It is most definitely possible!  I've woven dish towels on a rigid heddle (Schacht Cricket 15") with a 12 dent reed.  The first time was with cotton carpet warp (8/4) at 12 epi.  It's easy to find, comes in plenty of colors and is relatively cheap.  I know some people don't like the "spongy" feel of these towels, but I don't mind it.  I would not call these "elegant" by any stretch of the imagination though. :-D

The second time was with 8/2 cotton using the 12 dent reed but doubling the ends.  In other words, if you use direct warping, you go through every slot and every hole.  Then you can skip the threading because it will be correct already.  For weft, use 8/2 cotton and either you end up with a half-basket weave or you'd have to double it somehow (two shuttles, floating selvedges, etc.)

The main issue, in my mind, is that these towels will not be very wide.  I weave my towels now on a shaft loom (32" width) because I like them to end up about 17" wide (~20" wide on the loom).  The towels I made on the rigid heddle end up around 12-13" wide because you won't get ALL 15" and cotton shrinks a good bit.  This isn't wrong, I just wanted to be honest about my experience.