FAQ: my handwoven kitchen towels

Blue farmhouse plaid towel

A handwoven kitchen towel!

 

I’m getting ready to send a collection of handwoven kitchen towels to the Sarah Orne Jewett House & Museum Shop in South Berwick, Maine; they host a holiday seasonal sale every year that features the work of artisans from New England. I won’t be onsite to answer questions about my items as I can at art fairs, so I put together a “FAQ” sheet about my towels to assist the museum staff and patrons. I thought I would share it here!

  • Will my towel shrink if I wash it in the washing machine?

Shrinkage will be minimal. After cutting the freshly woven fabric from the loom, I machine wash the fabric in hot water and use the high spin cycle option. I then machine dry the towel fabric on the cotton setting. These steps help to “set” the weave and any significant shrinkage is accounted for before hemming.

  • Will the colors run?

It is very unlikely. During the initial wash I include a color catcher sheet with the towel fabric. This step helps to pull out any residual dye leftover from the cotton milling/dying process.

  • Can I wash my towel in a machine?

Yes. Wash the towel at your preferred temperature and machine dry. Avoid chlorine bleach as this will discolor the yarns.

  • Do people really use these in the kitchen?

Yes. I like to weave items that you can live with on an everyday basis. The densely sett yarns create a thirsty fabric. Machine stitched ends hold up to heavy use. Some of my customers prefer to use their towels for bread basket displays, for the powder room, or even as substitute placemats or small-sized table toppers.



Speaking of towels, I started working on another batch today. Here is the first towel, just underway:

IMG_1947.JPG

Sage green and unbleached cotton kitchen towel

I will also be weaving this same pattern with a nice Christmas-y red cotton yarn as the main color. Be sure to check my shop for my latest additions! I also added a couple of new scarves to the shop this week:

 

 

 

 

 

I best get cracking on those kitchen towels! Happy November, friends.

Be well, Kate K.

 

Bamboo, I love you…

Yes, I love weaving with bamboo! I first started working with it this past summer almost by accident. I was working with my sales rep from one of my suppliers discussing a couple of items that were on long-term backorder and on a whim I switched my yarn selections from the backordered 3/2 mercerized cotton to the in-stock bamboo. A cone of natural and black 5/2 bamboo showed up at my door later in the week and I had to figure out what to do with the yarn. I decided to start with the basics, plain weave, so that I could learn how the yarn and resulting fabric behaved.  I drafted a scarf pattern that ended up being a best-seller at the League of NH Craftsmen Summer Fair in August:

Log Cabin Bamboo Scarf Black Ivory

Bamboo scarf with log cabin borders

This item was the first design to sell out at my booth this year, which was a delightful surprise. The silky-smooth feel of the bamboo is what really appealed to my customers. It is lightweight and has a subtle sheen. I don’t know about you, but I really dislike having a heavy garment around my neck. I guess that is why I generally prefer lightweight yarns for my wearables (fine alpaca/silk, 8/2 lyocell, and bamboo being my favorites).

I started weaving a few more of these this log cabin bamboo scarves this week in ecru and black and also have a warp ready to go in lavender and black bamboo. To see these works in progress, please check out my Instagram page.

New in the shop this week are some diamond twill towels in a colorway that I’m calling “Flower Garden”:

 

Flower garen kitchen towels.JPG

“Flower Garden” Diamond Twill Kitchen Towels

I’m reserving six of these for my online shop and six will be heading to the Sarah Orne Jewett Museum Shop for their seasonal holiday sale, South Berwick, Maine, which beings in November.

Signing off for now. The bamboo is calling for me.

Be well,

kate k.