Sunday, 1 March 2015

Weaving -- Tea Towels

Yes, I know it sounds a bit daft, weaving your own tea towels, but I'm still practising and thought something functional would be a good second weaving project.

Armed with some King Cole Cottonsoft DK yarn (a very nice cotton that comes in a decent range of colours), I warped up my loom.  I went with two colours; white and khaki (which is more of a toffee/dark beige than greeny-brown).

I warped the loom so it was mostly white, with a stripe of about two inches in the khaki on either side.  I also put on a warp that was long enough to make two tea towels, so I didn't have to go through the warping process twice (it takes quite a lot of time).

The first tea towel I made, I just used the white cotton for the weft, so the towel's white, with a stripe at either side.

I was a bit more ambitious with the second towel and put in three weft stripes of the khaki as well.

After I'd finished the weaving, I did a hem-stitch along each end (it's a bit like blanket stitch and stops the weaving from unravelling), then cut the fabric off the loom, carefully turned over a hem at each end and used my sewing machine to stitch the hems (I actually did two rows of machined straight stitch - I wasn't taking any chances).  I put the towels in the washing machine, put them through a quick cycle and then threw them in the tumble dryer on the hotter setting.  They shrank a little bit (about an inch in both length and width), but I expected that.

Here they are, folded into quarters:

Overall, I'm pleased with them and am thinking of making some more to give to my Mum for her Mothering Sunday present (although it dawned on me yesterday that that's only a fortnight away, so I'd better get cracking).  Even my husband commented that he likes them, although they did leave a bit of fluff on his fingers after he used one, but I get that with the tea towels I buy from Dunelm anyway, until they've been washed a couple of times, so I'm hoping it'll be same with these home-made ones.

As requested, here's a photo of my loom in action:

My loom is 32" wide, which is more than I needed for the tea towels, so I didn't warp the whole width.  I've been reading various threads and comments on Ravelry about using a wider loom for a narrower piece of weaving and how the heddle (the bit with the slots and holes) can wobble when being used for a narrower piece of fabric, and how to overcome that wobble (by putting in some warp threads at the edges of the heddle, but making sure they're not woven into the fabric).

My plans for my next weaving projects are tea towels for Mum, then a scarf using a self-patterning/striping yarn.  After that, I might have a go at weaving something with a bit of a pattern in it!


  1. Wow, I'm really impressed with your towels. They came out beautifully. I'm so glad you're enjoying weaving, it looks like you've taken to it really well.

  2. These are brilliant. I think hand woven tea towels sound so decedent!!

  3. They are fabulous!! Really great job and lovely to be able to make something so practical for yourself! xx