Handwoven Dish Towels!

It has been a long, long time since I have woven anything that feels like cloth and I used to do it a lot! I showed you the weaving in progress and I have finally finished the dish towels.

They felt stiff when I cut them off the loom, and it is obvious that I had two threads in each dent of the reed – – – can you see what I mean in the top picture? How is it possible to make these towels look and feel soft and absorbent and function well? By wet finishing. I’ve been reading various posts and articles on the Internet and I had to laugh a bit. Wet finishing seems like a funny term for washing something before using it. I always wash handwoven fabric after I weave it. And I always wash the fabric I use for making quilts and weaving rag rugs as well. To me, a fabric isn’t finished until it’s been washed.

Before washing

Before washing


After washing

After washing

Big difference, isn’t it? And I was so pleased to see how they thickened up. Fulled is the word used for wool; I’m not sure it applies to cotton.

In case you think I am crazy for doing this, I have been inspired by several bloggers who weave dish towels. Kerry at Love Those Hands at Home has made a lot of them. And Karen at Warped for Good makes some beauties as well.

When I was Googling to see who else made “useful” woven items, I found Marilyn.  Please take the time to read her lovely piece about weaving such time-consuming textiles at Whimsy and Tea.

I must say that 8/2 makes for a nice weight in a towel. Now that they are hemmed, they are on the rack to be used tonight! And I’m looking forward to making more.

Handwoven dish towels!



12 thoughts on “Handwoven Dish Towels!

  1. I LOVE these!! Of course, I am very partial to dishtowels but I like your colors especially. And, yes, I wash my towels in hot water and put them in the dryer and love the transformation. I usually use 8/2 cotton or cottolin but 10/2 is nice as well. And I’ve also read that 8/4 carpet warp makes a nice beefy towel. I see you making lots of towels now that you’ve begun. And thanks for the tip about Whimsey and Tea–great blog!


    • You are my inspiration!
      I went to a great craft fair in Asheville yesterday and found a Wonderful Weaver! She had some dish towels – she likes to use 8/2 about 24 epi woven in a crackle weave. They were quite thick. Then – – – she had scarves that were some sort of weave I didn’t understand set at 40 epi on 24 harnesses. She said she just got a loom with 36 harnesses! Her colors were amazing. She doesn’t have a web page or I would send you her info. So inspiring.


  2. What an awesome post that reaffirms why I love weaving!! I’m with you-there’s something quite satisfying about having handwoven towels to use each and every day. They are just special and I love yours with the clean stripes against the light background.
    Thanks, too, for sharing the other weaving blogs with us! I find so much inspiration from reading about what other people are creating.


    • When we don’t have creative folks around us, blogs are such inspiration and a bit of a support group, aren’t they? Though I love where we live, I need to find some other creative sorts to be with. A neighbor recently asked if I was a quilter and then asked if I could repair her dog’s bed!?! It seems like you work alone as well. Do you belong to any groups?


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