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Submitted by cazzidee on Tue, 12/08/2009 - 07:03
Hi, I am new to this role as editor and have lost one message into cyperspace already.
Well, that message worked!
I thought it would be a good idea to have a group for weavers who love to make towels or who want to make them. I am in the latter category! I am planning my first simple towels from the Handwoven Treasury and then some waffle weave towels. I have, for many years wanted to weave towels but just too scared to do so!
What sort of towels do you make or want to make?
I'm very glad you started this forum. I am brand new to weaving, and also interested in starting with something like towels. There are so many awesome patterns or weaves that could be incorporated into a towel design, and I would love to have some for myself as well as gift some. So I hope to learn with you and others that join this forum.
One of the mantras I have heard repeatedly is you should sample. Weaving towels serves that function for me. I can get both weave structure and color interplay sussed out. Then when I have finished I have a better idea for other projects and a functional item.
One of the bits of information I have gleaned, is that weave structures with long floats should not be used as towels. they catch too many things.
Looking forward to seeing where this forum goes
I weave towels and washcloths as my apprentice work as a wannabe weaver.
Have a good day!
I have woven one set of towels with a pattern. I'm a newbie too. They were my 3rd weaving experience. I really enjoyed the experience. I like the thought of a waffle weave towel.....ought to be very absorbent. Franco has done some very nice towels....I've seen them.....and they were out of the cotton that you can get every where. Franco after you washed them did they soften up? Glad to join the group. I hope to start more weaving projects after I get this sweater knitted.
Peggy in Utah
Towels, I adore weaving towels! Have woven so many towels over the last 10 years of weaving that I have lost count how many I have taken off my looms. Towels are a great way to learn a new type of weaving pattern or try a new to you yarn. My theory is jump in with both feet and get busy weaving. Towels make a great gift for your family and friends, who wouldn't appreciate a lovely hand woven towel!
The joke in my house is always "what kind of towels do you have on the loom today". Currently I am working on some lovely Christmas themed towels, they are a modified a pattern from one of the design collections - it is the red snowflake with green stripes towel - 8 shaft pattern. This is an easy and enjoyable pattern and the towels will be wonderful gifts for my friends next Christmas (have already sent them this year's model).
Happy weaving, - Martha
Sorry for delay in reply, somehow I missed this one.
Yes, the cotton towels I weave soften up a lot after they get washed.
Your towels sound fantastic- any photos?
thanks for the compliment, they are currently in the dryer. I always wash my towels in warm/hot water and throw them into the dryer - that way they get treated just like they would in everyday use. Tomorrow when I iron and hem them I will take pictures - lets hope I understand how to down load pics onto this site - yikes.
Looking forward to seeing the towels everyone else is working on.
Happy weaving! - Martha
I am new to this site and a fairly new weaver -- i've had my Baby Wolf for about 2 years now! WOW..... and have managed to make SEVERAL towels. and just gave my mom some placemats to match her newly covered kitchen chairs!
Thought you might like to know that my daughter is APPALLED at the thought of USING the kitchen towel i gave her!! She said "but it's something you MADE!!! I don't want to get it dirty!!! LOL.... I just laughed and picked up one of my towels and started drying a dish --- So funny!
I'll get pictures taken and posted in the next few weeks.....
mjsink (in NE Tenn)
Welcome to the obsession.
My dish towels have created controversy. My mother and sister insist they are placemats.
My sister in law tells me they are great for drying her daughter's hair.
My other sister in law tells me she only uses them as dishtowels because I asked her to.
I want to start some towels for gifts for next Christmas. I will make sure that I test run some before then. I love linen towels but a little scared about weaving with linen. Does anyone have any hints about weaving with linenand what is the best size for towels?
Cazzidee, sizes for any weaving project can be found in the Weaver's Companion book and most other beginning weaving books. Measuring an existing towel that you like can also give you an idea of what size you might you wish to weave. I tend to weave my towels large - anywhere between 16 to 22 inches wide and 24 to 30 inches long - depends on the pattern and the yarns I am using and sometimes even what the towel will be used for.
Weaving with linen is wonderful, there are many weavers on this website who are a known for their linen work, i.e., Vicky Tardy, Sara Von Trekskow aka as Flaxfan (Sorry, I am not sure how to spell her last name), Kati R. Meek to name a few.
I have always been one of those people who jump in with both feet, may I suggest reading a little about how to weave with linen and then go ahead and weave with it. Linen is a joy to weave with and wears like iron in the finished project.
Enjoy your linen weaving adventure.
You might try cottolin for your first linen towels. It is a blend of linen and cotton so it makes the warping and weaving very easy. You can see a towel woven in cottolin here:
scroll down to the bottom to see the towel in natural, black and white.
At the top of the page you can click on the blue 'cottolin' and see the color sample card.
Thanks for this great info. Can I show my ignornance and ask about the Weaver's Companion book. Can you please tell me the author and publisher of this?
The Weaver's Companion book is
by Madeline Van der Hooght (she is the editor of Handwoven Magazine)
By the way, Joanne Hall is a wonderful resource for cottolin and is a wonderful teacher! (Sorry, I forgot to include Joanne in my list of "linen" experts)
Hope this helps.
I love weaving towels!! I like warping enough for several, and then challenge myself to make each one unique. I like designing on the loom. Marguerite Davision's book gives many treadling variations for each threading.
Most of my towels become gifts for my daughters and mom, mother-in-law, and friends. I tell everyone to use them, no matter how pretty they are. They just get better after several washings, and if they aren't going to use them, then I have no excuse to weave more. My drawer at home can only hold so many. Fortunately, my family is not afraid to use them, and they say that their handwoven ones are the ones they reach for first.
One of the most helpful things I did when starting to weave towels was to make a long sample of my favorite size yarn, warped at several different setts across the warp. I wove it off with several different colors and weights of weft yarn, in both plain weave and twill. I refer to it often when setting up for a new set of towels, because I can feel how different setts affect the yarn. Make sure the sample is washed in hot water and dried in the dryer, since there is a world of difference between washed and straight off the loom.
Do you have any photos of your towels you wouldn't mind sharing?
I lost a lot of my photos when our computer crashed recently, which is why I just started a blog today. I intend (New Year's resolution, something I never do) to keep a record of my weaving and dyeing for at least this year. I posted a few pictures on it, and you are welcome to visit it at: [email protected]
I may have most of my weaving photos on a flash drive, but I haven't checked for sure. If I find them, I will post some of them. Below is one of them, and I got the idea from a photo on this site--called "Kid Demo" under projects, I think.
To see how different two towels can be from the same warp, here is a photo of another towel.
Sorry the picture is so big. I don't do this often, and don't know how to shrink the pictures and keep the proper ratio.
Thanks Jenny. They are spectacular!! Yes, it IS amazing how different they can be. Wonderful.
As for the photos, if you would like to make them smaller, you just have to make small adjustment when you get this screen as you upload...........
Once you have browsed and hit ''upload'' you will get this screen. Yor photo will be previewed in the box on the right. You just need to type in the size you want in the ''width'' box on the left. I usually put in 200 or 300. You don't have to worry about ratio as it will be automatically calculated so the lower ''height'' number will be adjusted automatically. You will see the new resized photo in the preview box and can then decide if you want to go bigger or smaller. Then hit ''ok'' and you are done.
Sorry that you lost all your pictures-that must have been horrible. I shall visit your blog.
EDIT.............That address you have given above appears to be an email address.
Thanks Laverne. I just found out that my new blog address is not www., but http://[email protected]
Sorry for the error--I'm new at it! I changed it on my profile on weavolution.
I'm happy to say that I had just backed up all of my pictoral weaving record onto my flash drive just a short time before the computer crash. i put them back on the computer today, so will be able to do some more show-and-tell later.
I'm going to test your suggestion here with a couple pictures. Here goes:
It looks like it worked!
Jenny, that @ in your address is the sure sign of an email address rather than a website. I do believe if you were to replace the "@" with a "." (dot), you would have the Blog address. http://jennybellairs.blogspot.com
I see you made your photos smaller, but as you see, when they are too small, the detail becomes pixelated and blurry. Please do upload your photos into your projects area - you can leave those a bit larger as they will not be affecing all who are following a thread, only those who specifically want to see the photos. I dont have dial-up any more, thank the heavens, so I want to see the detail. :)
Sande in Fresno, CA, USA
Thanks for all the information. I am a returned weaver- got away from it for a few years and then had to reteach myself. I had made towels and placemats for presents 5 years ago and have been bugged by my kids since then for more. I finally makde about 13 of them for christmas presents this year but had to re-warp 2 times because I kept doing it wrong. The towels are fine, a bit less absorbent than the first ones I made, but the kids love them. I used a huck pattern. I am going to try to weave some napkins now but not sure what yarn I should use. They will be used for every day, kids, etc. any suggestions?
Thanks for the information about how to upload pictures - I have been trying to upload these Christmas towels for a few weeks. These are the towels I referred to in my original post
"The joke in my house is always "what kind of towels do you have on the loom today". Currently I am working on some lovely Christmas themed towels, they are a modified a pattern from one of the design collections - it is the red snowflake with green stripes towel - 8 shaft pattern. This is an easy and enjoyable pattern and the towels will be wonderful gifts for my friends next Christmas (have already sent them this year's model)."
Now that I understand how to upload pictures think I will go and take a few pics of the many towels I have woven and maybe a picture of what is on the loom now.
Happy weaving, Martha
Okay, here are a few towels I have woven in the past---
White - huck lace - 8/2 cotton
White & Blue - Overshot name draft - 10/2 cotton warp, 8/2 cotton double pattern weft
Beige & Tan - Scottish district check - 8/2 cotton
Cobalt & navy - Shadow weave - 10/2 cotton
Happy weaving! - Martha
Your towels look fantastic!
Hi I just joined the group I have been weaving towels about half of my weaving career.I use 8/2 cotton. I also have people who won't use them and people who use them as runners instead. I have changed the kind of towels I weave in the last few years. I also have been using more colors in my towels. I look forward to reading about and seeing what other towel weaver are doing'
I gave dishtowels to my mother and sister. They insist they are placemats!
You can see some of my towels in my projects list
I am new here too. I weave of and on for 14 years now and mostly plain weave. Recently I started towels! and I love it. I read all the posts and I think this is a friendly group.
I am weaving towels with cottoline natural as warp and cotton 8/2 as weft.
I hope this makes a nice towel since I have never woven one before. Actually, as I think about it, I did weave two towels before. For my sister in law. She uses them as placemats as I read more people do......
But still, this is a serious attempt to make a set of nice towels.
I changed the 10 outer (natural coloured) threads into 10 green threads, the same colour as the weft. That one is finished, the next one I use blue as weft and so I tied on 10 blue threads as selvege. Next towel will be pink and I think I will try to tie on those threads like Jenny Bellairs shows at her blog.
http://www.weavolution.com/user/1094 Here you can find more about me and what I am doing at weavolution.
www.atelier44.blogspot.com is my blog.
Bye for now and happy weaving.
Marion, The Netherlands.
Hi I too have used cottolin ususally as warp and weft. I would like to try it with 8/2 because I have a lot of that in my stash and not a lot of cottolin. I have heard if you mix on fiber and warp and the other in weft it usually works out ok. Have a nice day.
I just joined this group. Great idea.
I have woven towels on and off for 10 years. I always come back to them. They are great for diversity and always good to have to use as gifts. I started out with cottolin, which is an easy yarn to use. These days I tend to prefer finer yarns such as 16/2 cotton. My latest project sits on my loom now and has 16/2 cotton warp and 16/1 linen weft. Only just started.
HI Ellen, I used some 16/2 once a long time ago. I like the look of your current project.
I hope to see more of it. I have alittle bit of 16/2 left, have you used it with something besides linen? Where do you get your 16/2?
Ellen, your 16/2 towels are going to be very lovely, what pattern are you using it is hard to tell.
I'll certainly post more about it when there is something to show. The trouble is, it sits on my other loom which I have at my holiday house 4 hours from here, - and I am really longing to get back to it.
I have used 16/2 cotton for many towels for both warp and weft, and they come out really nice and soft and very good to use for dish-towels. You can see a couple of them on my projects page if you want.
Well, I live in Denmark, so it probably wouldn't be relevant for you to get my yarn dealers' addresses, I'm afraid.
Thanks. It is a 5-shaft satin on to blocks, that is 10 shafts in all. But You can do satin on less, I think.
And happy weaving to you, too :-)
You can do two blocks of turned twill (false satin) on 6 or 8 shafts, but it takes a minimum of 10 shafts (5 per block) to do two blocks of true satin.
Hello. I'm a weaver from the Desert Fiber Arts Guild in Washington State. Love making towels. Try to have a few around for a quick gift. They are always appreciated. I use mainly 3/2, 5/2// 8/2 cottons. I bought the e-books online from Interweave Press of their classic and most requested towel patterns and I'm working my way through them. I've produced some pretty nice looking towels. I have a 4-shaft, 8-shaft and a rigid heddle. They seem to cover most of my needs for weaving.
We have a pretty active weaving group here in the desert, (we are on the arid side of Washington State, not Seattle side).
We have a weaving study group in progress right now with about 20 people. We feel it will take about three years to complete the course. Anyway, towels are one of my passions also. Nice to join your group.
We are looking forward to seeing some of your towels :-) Please post them on your projects page and share them with us. :-)
Hi Ellen ...
Do you remember what you sett you used for these towels? Have you been able to weave them off yet?
I have just returned from my holiday home and my best-loved loom with the towels woven, just waiting now for the bandwoven straps and the final hemming. I'll be posting then soon! I think I used sett 14 ends pr cm, but I'll be more precise when I post the whole project one of these days. And apologies for the long silence, I have no internet access out there by the seaside. But I have a wonderful time, despite missing all my weaving friends here :-)
It's good to see you back, Ellen! Although I think it must be very hard to return from the seaside and your favorite loom ...
but ... I'm definitely looking forward to seeing your damask towels project. Thanks for posting!
I love cotton towels and decided to weave my own.
It's great to find a group all with the same interest.
Welcome to the group!
I joined the other day and don't seem to have introduced myself so here's a tiny bio. I started weaving less than a month ago and was fortunate to have day long private lesson with a well known UK weaver. I live in SE England at the moment in rural Norfolk. It's pretty but not well served with roads.
As a weaving novice, towels seemed to be the most sensible and practical item to weave. I have been told that the secret to success in weaving is making samples so at the moment its cotton and samples. I work on a 4 shaft Ashford loom and bought a few books for patterns and inspiration.
I am most impressed with the towels made by Jenny and others, quite and inspiration for me. I'll show some of my samples on here, they are not perfect and IMO, too loose. I need to find the right cotton and re-warp so any suggestions on suppliers and weight of cotton would be very welcome.
Welcome to the group. I like weaving towels because I can use cotton which is my favorite fiber to use. I like UKI cotton for mine and you can order from them. The sett I like is 24 epi for 8/2 for twill which is what I do the most. Some people would say 20 epi works too.
Hi this is Cheryl and I am also a towel weaver. My husband Michael keeps up with the site, so you will see my posts under his name. I weave towels with mostly 8/2 cotton but I have used cottonlin (and like very much) and some linen. I usually do long warps-as long as my warping board which gives me 17 finished towels at a time. I have been weaving since the mid 70's but only recently acquired a 16 harness loom. If I can get my first project off I plan to do some 8 harness patterns and all those little figures on rosepath!! Such fun.
As a side note to weavalong, I was born in Norwich, England but emigrated when I was 11, so my entire weaving career has been here in the U.S. Still it must be genetic as my great-grandfather several generations removed was a silk weaver and also the mayor of Norwich.
Towels are a great way to experiment with structures and colors . Think of them as full size samples. My son says all we get are the rejects, as I sell my towels so I rarely do any for our house. If I try something out and am not completely happy with the design, they still make very usable towels for our house- and believe me they get used.
You can look at my website if you like. www.handweaver.us There are towels and other items there.
I look forward to the input from the group
Great towels I love the way you displayed them. Laurie
Laurie, Cheryl machine washes the towels in hot water. Then machine dries them before cutting them apart and heming them. I hung this group of 17 towels just to take a picture. The last group of 17 towels left here last week with out getting photographs taken. Displaying them differently each time is fun.