Dottie Weir used a variety of colors in random order to create a 14 yard warp to make 8 placemats and 8 kitchen towels. The weft for the placemats was cottolin and hand dyed fabric strips. Cottolin was used as weft for most of the towels. The draft came from Lynn Danvers and was published in a 2004 Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild newsletter. Lynn had been inspired to design and weave a towel based on one that was machine made. For another take on the same draft, see Julia Nace’s towel Variegated Warp for a Complex Look.
For the placemat weft, Dottie purchased 25 yards of muslin which she washed in hot water, 1 tsp of Synthrapol® and 1/2 cup soda ash. Fabric was dyed using a recipe from Ann Johnston’s Color by Accident, p. 29, in which the yardage is dyed in a large plastic container. She let the fabric batch in the container for a minimum of 24 hours, then it was rinsed and dried. At this point the fabric was ripped lengthwise to yield strips that were 25 yards long. Be sure to use appropriate safety precautions while dyeing and ripping the yardage.
The towels needed to be wider than the placemats so an additional 4” of warp width was added. Using a dark weft changes the colors significantly from the appearance of the placemats. This is a fun project to determine how color, texture and design create beautiful but different results!
Structure: Twill and plain weave, 6 shaft
Warp: 22/2 cottolin, Dark red, autumn red, dark plum
and navy blue, in random order
Thick Weft for mat: hand dyed muslin fabric that was ripped lengthwise into 1” strips
Thin Weft for mat: 22/2 cottolin
Weft for towels:Either 22/2 cottolin or 8/2 cotton, navy
blue and autumn red
Warp sett: 20 ends per inch, 10 dent reed, 2 ends per dent
Width in reed: 16″ (placemats), and 20″ (4″ added for towels), Use floating selvages
Placemat dimensions after hemming and wet finishing: 15″ x 19.5″
Towel dimensions after hemming and wet finishing: 17″ x 26″