DE-STASH TEA TOWELS
Well, this is an item I thought I'd never weave!
While sorting through the boxes and shelves with yarn that was acquired many years ago, I came across cones of cotton and linen in a variety of quantity and colours.
I thought, as I am unable to wear anything woollen, something to wear in the summer would be great.
Sampling, dare I admit it, has never been my thing, but I have always been intrigued by peoples enthusiasm for weaving T towels. So I decided to combine the two. I needed to know how much shrinkage etc if I was to weave a length of cotton fabric for summer wear and why not make samples that could be used!!!!
I decided that fabric 20 x 30 inches would make an adequate tea towel and designed a warp 23 inches wide, 5 yards long for 4 towels. A wrap told me that I would need 20 warp threads an inch using the 2/20 thickness. Fortunately, I have that weight of yarn in a few colours. No white or cream so I decided that the silver/dove grey would be my main warp colour. A little boring on its own I decided to have purple vertical stripes. All tabby weave would also be monotonous, so I chose to add sections of 'Swedish lace'. It took some time to design the warp to include 7 lace sections across the width and I planned tabby sections at each side in case my selvedges weren't good enough!!!!! As it happened it was relatively easy to weave straight, neat selvedges and I soon got into a rhythm weaving.
Back and front of the Swedish lace pattern.
I completed the warp and setting up the loom in one day. After two days weaving I ended up with 5 tea towels. Each one with a different colourway using purple, blue and green along with the pale grey. I intended to use mainly grey and keep the colours for another project but.... unless I would be prepared to wear a 'multicoloured dream coat' I hadn't enough of the colours.
Some of the cottons are particularly shiny so I think they must be mercerised - no good for an absorbent tea towel, but probably great for 'stain free' clothing fabric.
A few cones were thinner yarn - 50 wraps to the inch - perhaps they would make a great dress or summer top fabric in a twill based weave.