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Which is it, Kitchen, Tea, or Dish Towel ?

Kitchen Towel refers to any towel in the kitchen, paper or cloth. Tea Towel is the British version of the American Dish Towel. The towel is used for drying or wiping anything that is wet including hands, dishes, glasses, pots, pans, counters, table tops, of anything in the kitchen.

My towel pattern is 2/2 Twill Pattern using 8/2 cotton woven to European standards and metric measurements which makes a thick heavy fabric that is absorbent and durable. The thread density is 11/ cm or 27.5/inch (55 thread count). The size is 41cm, approx. 16”, wide and 66cm, approx. 26”, long.  The typical American towel woven in 2/2 Twill Pattern has a thread density of 24/inch ( 48 thread count) and ranges in width from 14”-18” and length 20”-28”.

The additional 3.5 threads per inch in the European Towel is 15% more thread than the American Towel. You give up some softness with the denser fabric, but the tradeoff is a thirsty tough towel that will last a long time.

My towel is a Tea Towel.



Weaving School

I just got back from my first weaving class, Vavsutga Basics, taught by Becky Ashenden. Since this was my first school I have nothing for comparison. I chose this class because I have a Glimakra Loom and the video “Dress Your Loom the Swedish Way” by Becky Ashenden was included with the loom purchase.

I was the only male in the group of eight and the only one with a Glimakra Loom. One person in the group had no weaving experience. I purposely waited till I had some experience and a list a questions that needed answering before I went to a class. Google, YouTube and Books gave me the basics to get going. Becky has lots of shortcuts, tips, and tricks that will make weaving fun and fast.

I am not going to give a day by day report. The blogs, The Tangled Warp and Love Those Hand at Home, do good job describing the daily class activities. Becky also provides a 15 week class called Vav Immersion. A good reference is the blog Tammy Weaves.

Here are the four items I made during class:  wool throw, cotton/cottolin table square, cottolin/linen towel, and linen table square.The experience has definitely improved my weaving and significantly reduced my warping, beaming, and threading time. I will be going back; but first I need to practice what I learned.




Signature Design

While I was learning about the many choices and options available for the on-line part of the business, I was noticing that successful (or what appeared to be successful) crafters had created themes, design elements, or patterns for their handmade items;  often referred to as “Top Sellers”.    Crafter’s also offered to work with customers to design and create custom items.

What design and pattern should I use for kitchen towels?  Twill 2/2 is the pattern of choice for towels.  Twill makes a nice thick towel with a diagonal color pattern.  For the design, I like the look of plaid bordering the towel.  It is simple, fairly common, primarily two colors, and seems to be a “Top Seller” for some weavers.

My plaid border kitchen towel is going to have a design element inspired by the vintage flour sack; the basic narrow stripe.  The stripe is simple, clean, and adds a small variation to the basic three striped plaid.

Next step is to layout the pattern on paper to see what it will look like.




Weaving – First Steps

I started weaving in 2012 using a backstrap technique to create Sami Bands as shown by Susan J Foulkes.  After watching her YouTube Videos, I thought, I can do that, and wanted to try.  I found a rigid heddle and shuttle on the Weavers Guild of Minnesota classified page for a good price, met the seller at Whole Foods, and took home my first weaving tools.  I was hooked !!!