Delicate handtowels on four shafts
The pattern for these handtowels is known as 2 fold Ms and Os.
This pattern is from the wonderful book Margarite P Davison A Handweaver's Pattern Book on page 56. This book was first published in 1944 and was the first book about weaving that I bought. My copy is old and well used and used to be in the library at Edge Hill Teacher Training College. When I trained s a teacher, crafts were still considered important and I remember in my college large floor looms in the corridor as well as in the craft room.
Here is the weave drawdown for the pattern for these handtowels.
You can see how the Ms and Os are outlined in blocks of three by the blue warp and weft. The weave structure makes these towels shrink in the wash but although they appear very delicate they are excellent for drying hands.
Warp and Weft
Total number of warp ends is 572
Width at reed 59.75 cm 23.5 inches
Warp sett is 24 ppi 12 reed with 2 ends per dent
Weft sett is 30 ppi
The warp is 16/2 cotton and the weft is 16/1 linen in two colours blue and white. I use Swedish cotton and linen made by the same company so that the colours for the different yarns are the same.
Colour order for border
white 10 10 8 8 10
blue 2 4 2 4 2
then the pattern threading is as follows
blue 2 18 repeats then 22 white. The order for the border is now reversed.
I use 12 rows in plain weave - for this threading true plain weave is not possible. Then weave approx 1.5 inches in pattern to fold over to form the hem.
Weaving the towels.
I made enough warp for three long handtowels.
|Tying the warp onto the front beam|
|This is a two shuttle weave using the 16/1 linen|
|close up of the weave structure on the loom|
This photograph shows one end of the first towel. I have woven extra blocks in white linen for the hem. The coloured thick thread is the division between this towel and the next I am weaving. After I have taken the finished weaving off the loom, I cut each towel at the place where I used the thicker yarn. I always turn up the hem and iron it as soon as possible after cutting the towels apart. I pin, then tack the hems in place before sewing them on the machine.
ShrinkageI always machine hem the towels before washing so the measurements include the hem.
before washing after washing
length 80 cm 31.5 inches 65 cm 29.75 inches
width 58 cm 23 inches 53 cm 21 inches
|Close up after washing|
I washed two handtowels by hand and the third in the washing machine. I wondered whether there would be any difference in the shrinkage. The measurements were the same. However, there was an odd difference which I was not expecting. The hand washed towel was slightly yellow.
|Two towels, one handwashed and one machine washed.|
Of course I also wove a tag for hanging the towels. Here is the pattern.
|Draft for hanging tags.|
|Linen hanging tag on the hem|
This is a lovely light hand towel but excellent for drying hands. It would make a pretty guest towel.
Susan J Foulkes