Monday, March 30, 2009

About that Towel

Remember when I cut the first towel off my huck warp to make sure I was happy with the results of finishing it?

Here's that towel just off the loom hanging in a window so you can see how lacy it is. (Have no fear about the snow in these pictures! Most of it has melted by now!!)

You can see that the weave structure is open and somewhat wiry in appearance.

I washed it with a few brave shirts and a trusty Color Catcher (available in the laundry section of your grocery store.) A Color Catcher is a sheet you put in the washer with your load of laundry to capture fugitive dye.

My real life weaving buddies swear by Color Catchers.....the only time one of us has had a mishap was washing a red and white quilt for the first time with only one Color Catcher. Even in that case, my weaving friend firmly believes that if she'd added several color catchers instead of just one, she wouldn't have had any running of red dye.

In this case, the Color Catcher was still pure white after the load of wash. That doesn't happen if I'm doing a regular load of wash - I was pleasantly surprised by the colorfastness of this yarn.

I usually use a brand new Color Catcher the first time I wash something handwoven, and if there's much excess dye, I'll use new Color Catchers, or re-use the same one, until the excess dye isn't a problem anymore.

I dried it on normal heat in the dryer until it was just slightly damp.

Ironed it on the cotton setting. (It is cotton.)

The fabric is puffier, feels more absorbent, and looks more like something you'd want to dry your hands on.

So the first towel from this warp is ready to use!

I love the colors of this towel in my kitchen! It almost makes doing the dishes a pleasure.....almost!!

The yarn I'm using is Halcyon Homestead Cotton, an un-mercerized cotton. The original project in Handwoven used a UKI un-mercerized cotton. My towels did not shrink quite as much as the towels in the article, so the panels in my towels are not exactly square. I'm beating the subsequent towels just a bit harder to get closer to square. I still love the towels, even if they don't become perfectly square!

I have been using the first towel and washing it with my regular laundry, causing it to shrink just a bit more.

In the end, this towel shrunk 14% in width and 25% in length.

Related posts:

Taking this towel to meet the towel designer
Cutting off a single towel: One Stick Trick
Worrying at the start of the warp
More start of warp worrying
The beginning of this project


Kim said...

Mmmm, love the towel. The colors are fabulous and the lacy texture heavanly. I must get that warp on the loom, I have been planning it forever it seems. Towels are good to weave, quick and yet they can be complex as well.

Chris Stusek said...

Your towel is beautiful. I love the colours and weave. I like the idea of taking the first one off the loom and see how it looks and finishes.
I learn so much.

charlotte said...

This lace structure is very fascinating, and the colors are beautiful! I have never heard about the color catcher towel before, what a great invention.

Jennifer said...

That's so great! It's so happy and beautiful. Makes me want to think about that type of weaving myself!

KDes said...

Wonderful towel! Some day I will try huck. Some day.

bspinner said...

Yes, I agree I also love the colors in your towel!!! I would never of throught of using Color Catchers in my first wash of my handwoven. What a great idea something I'm sure I will use from now on especially on cotton and hand dyed yarn.

Leigh said...

It's wonderful! A very cheerful and attractive addition to any kitchen. I've not used the color catcher before, so was interested in that. Obviously it works!

Terri said...

What a gorgeous lace towel!!! I've never heard of Color Catcher. I'll have to give it a try.

Donna S. said...

Oh my!! That is a beautiful towel. LOL!! I have been practicing dishtowels on the little Ashford knitter's loom & a friends (maybe 32") Ashford rigid heddle. I am loving it, but omigosh I don't even know what you are talking about!! I think I would love to weave but not sure if I am smart enough! Whew.

Life Looms Large said...


Welcome!! Believe me, it took me years to understand all the terminology that goes with weaving! (Well - I don't pretend to understand all of it - but at the beginning I'd get so confused I'd have to phone one of my weaving friends and go to their house so I could point at things to ask my questions!!)

It's great that you're using a rigid heddle loom or two to start out! And if you like it, more shafts in a table loom or even better, a floor loom, would just add to your fun! You could always buy a used loom - see how you like it - and sell it if you don't. But if you like it so far, you'll probably like it even more with a floor loom!!

Weave on!