Tea Towel Mania, 2017

The making of ...

a set of tea towels for an exchange project with my Weavers Guild "De Kaardebol" = "The Teasel". Everybody weaves three tea towels, gives two towels to the group and in exchange receives two towels form other members of the guild.

Networked draft

I decided not just to weave a few tea towels, but to turn it into a little project that I could learn from.


That's why I chose a technique that was relatively new to me and I decided to weave round shapes, in contrast to my usual choice for clean lines.


I tried to draw the best possible circle on a network of 1/3 and 3/1 twill on 12 shafts + 4 shafts for some space around the circle. I only wanted the circle on half the number of shafts so I could use the other 16 shafts for another form.

Weaving, handwoven, inspirational weaving fabric

Number 1, clean circles

I used the other half of the shafts for squares and lines. The circles alternate with squares and lines.

The weft is blue linen yarn.

Number 2, inverted colours

The first pattern row in the design is the same. In the second pattern row, I inverted the colours of the foreground and the background. The weft is green linen yarn.

Buildings, Riley in Metz 2012, handwoven, weaving

Number 3, rising bubbles

The next design is more playful. The circles look like rising bubbles (or falling raindrops with some imagination).

The dark circles are 1/3 twill on a 3/1 twill background, the circles with the lighter colour are a basketweave. This time I used both groups of shafts to draw circles.

The weft is red cotton yarn.

Number 4, bouncing balls

Some more playful shapes in the form of bouncing balls. The weft is purple cotton yarn.

Number 5, blowing circles in the air

Blowing smoke circles in the air! The weft is two coloured; red and orange cotton yarn.

Number 6, combining 1 to 5

By now the warp is too short for another tea towel, but I could still do a small fingertip towel. I combined all the previous patterns in this one. The weft is black linen yarn.

Buildings, Riley in Metz 2012, handwoven, weaving


No half work; tea towels do need loops. So why not weave them on the very last piece of warp. All at ones, next to each other, with the same weft colours as in the tea towels.

Finishing; sew the hems and attach the loops

Neat finishing is very much appreciated.

The final result

There they are; stiched, washed, ironed and with a matching woven loop; the tea towels for the exchange project of my weaving guild. And the ladies liked them!
They are all about 60 x 60 cm, except the black fingertip towel who is 60 x 40 cm.