Sunday, January 21, 2007

Huck Towels 3

By Leigh

My huck dishtowels are off the loom, washed, and hemmed. They were woven from cotton 8/2; white warp and blue weft. The drafts were huck variations from Helene Bress's The Weaving Book. The washed fabric is nice and sturdy.

Unfortunately, except for the first two photos in this post, the colors are not true in the rest of the pictures. I found that the flash washed them out, but with dark rainy skies today, the natural light was poor.

In evaluating them, there are two things which I will do differently with the next batch: selvedge treatment and size.

With these towels, I didn't use a floating selvedge warp end. I'm not really sure why, except for some vague sense of wondering "what if." For the warp huck sample it didn't matter as the selvedges were threaded for plain weave. But as you can see for the sample at the left, the selvedges did their own thing. Even so, it made for an interesting bound edge with a scalloped effect. How well they hold up will be a matter for wash and wear to tell.

For the size, I allowed 20 percent for draw-in and shrinkage, aiming for a finished width of 15 inches. The actual width is 14 inches. This dismayed me at first, because no commercial dishtowel in the stores are this narrow. However, when I measured my own dishtowels, they are in fact narrower than 14 inches. Obviously the ones in the stores are not pre-shrunk.

When it came to length, I totally blew it and ended up with anything from 17.5 to 22 inches after shrinking. My current method is to measure each time I advance the warp and mark the spot, simply keeping a tally of inches. How in the world I go so many different lengths is beyond me. I blame it on too many distractions! However, next time I'm going to try Charleen's idea of using a knotted string.

So, my solution was to simply pronounce the shorter ones "placemats"! It is a mix and match bunch of place mats to be sure, but the sizes work.

Huck has been a good structure to weave with other things going on. It's easy to thread and quick to weave. And I like the way it looks too.

Posted 21 Jan. 2007 at

Related Posts:
Lace Sampler - Huck
Huck Towels 1
Huck Towels 2
Another Warp for Huck
Finishing Up the Huck (For Now)
Huck Dishtowels Finished
Leigh's Fiber Gallery: Dishtowels


Marie said...

The towels are great! The selveges look nice. Me thinks you're too picky! I use cash register tape to measure. I premeasure a length, roll it up until there is about 4 inches left and paperclip the rolled up section. Pin the one end at the fell line, in the middle of the weaving, with the roll facing the shafts. Pin as you advance the warp and roll up the other end so when you've reached your desired length, your measuring paper is ready for the next towel.

Sue said...

Just lovely! What a great set of towels/placemats. Congratulations! I use cash register tape to measure my weaving also, as Marie described above. It works really well, just be sure you unpin before it (the tape) gets rolled onto the beam. Not a problem with towels, but it could cause uneven tension for something like a shawl or runner.

Sue Bleiweiss said...

They all look great! I use a tape measure and a Tpin to measure and write down the measurement as I go on a white board on the wall next to my loom. And I always measure under tension.

Cathy said...

Lovely - such a nice complement to the knitting. :-)

Leigh said...

Marie and Sue, thanks for the idea! I think something which progresses with my weaving would work better for me than something which I have to move and keep track of.

Renee Nefe said...

Very pretty!

Valerie said...

The towels/placemats look great. Your selveges are nice and even, so it must be the structure that you're concerned about?

I too use the cash register tape trick after trying the tape measure, string, and incremental measures.

Unknown said...

Beautiful :-)

I shipped the fleece through Wingham Wool, they said it left UK last week. Only fleece in the parcel. Please destroy invoice if they have sent it to you by mistake. Ta :-)


Jody said...

The towels and placemats are great! I love the pattern you chose! I wish I know how to weave - but that would just add another distraction from knitting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leigh,

I too use the cash register tape. It is extremely useful when you want border to be the same size. I usually measure off at least 3 pieces the correct length and then I mark where hems start and stop, where borders stop and start (making sure that both ends are the same if they are designed that way).
As I weave, I pin one end and then remove the tape when the item is completed and move it to the next one. Usually I weave off 20 to 50 yards so that is why I prepare at least 3, the pinning eventually wears away the paper.
If you keep one in your notebook, next time you do not need to remeasure.


Leigh said...

Linda, what a good idea. Thank you so much!