Colorful Placemats and Rainbow Towels

Placemats by Julia Nace, Towel by Jan Seltman


These two projects give you a wonderful opportunity to use color to highlight different twill structures. Pull out your stash and have fun designing new variations of these patterns for gifts or for your home.

Julia’s placemat

Warp faced twill creates such beautiful color possibilities. This sturdy fabric is great for runners and placemats! The preparation work takes most of the time for this project, however, it is worth the effort; it is fun to weave with one shuttle. Julia modified the design from the original draft by mixing point and straight twill in multiple directions.

When warping this, reverse the color order at the center to create a symmetrical design. Colors can be in random order of 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, or 16 at a time. The color order shown is similar to that in the pictured placemat. Use a dark weft to set off the warp colors. Julia used aqua carpet warp for a 2.25” hem in plain weave, or you can end with the twill. Fold twice to make the hem so that it is the same thickness as the body of the weaving. Expect about 20% shrinkage.

Jan’s towel

M and W twills serve as a perfect weave structure to highlight color in your design. Jan created this towel several years ago using colorful remanants in her stash. Design the color order and then warp, rotating 8, then 5 threads to allow the color to follow the breaks of the design. Point twill was used for the treadling with this 8 shaft pattern. Include floating selvages. Enjoy pulling from your stash to create your next towel!

Download Placemat WIF file

Download Towel WIF file

Download Colorful Placemats and Rainbow Towels PDF

Structure: Straight and point twill, 4 shaft
WarpA:Cotton rug warp

  • Color A: Blue
  • Color B: Purple
  • Color C: Orange
  • Color D: Gold
  • Color E: Aqua
  • Color F: Green

Weft: Mop cotton, dark blue
Warp sett: 32 ends per inch, 8 dent reed, 4 ends per dent
Width in reed: 15.5″, Use floating selvages
Dimensions after hemming and wet finishing: 13″ x 15″

Structure: M & W Twill, 8 shaft
WarpA:Cotton rug warp

  • Color A: Dark blue
  • Color B: Medium blue
  • Color C: Light turquoise
  • Color D: Dark turquoise
  • Color E: Lime green
  • Color F: Yellow
  • Color G: Orange
  • Color H: Red
  • Color I: Fuchsia
  • Color J: Red violet
  • Color K: Violet
  • Color L: White

Weft: 10/2 unmercerized cotton, white
Warp sett: 24 ends per inch, 12 dent reed, 2 ends per dent
Width in reed: 24.5″, Use floating selvages
Dimensions after hemming and wet finishing: 19″ x 28″