Natural Colored Cotton Towels

This is my most recent run of kitchen towels.  I used white organic cotton yarn along with four naturally occurring colors of cotton - dark green, light green, dark brown and light brown.  Thank you to Lunatic Fringe for the fabulous yarn.  Yes, I'll be back to buy some more!

I'm thrilled with the results on all sorts of levels.  The towels are wonderful to look at.  I've washed them with a bit of washing soda to brighten the natural colors and I love the results.  I love the pattern I chose - you can never be sure until they are finished if you will love the pattern.  I do.

For some unknown reason, the selvedges are fabulous.  Great selvedges are a lofty goal that sometimes seems to happen all on it's own.  You just have to appreciate it when it does.  I'm a pretty good weaver but my selvedges are what they are on any given project, seemingly without any regard for what I am trying to achieve.

You can see from the photos how much more color comes up after they are washed in washing soda.  Yes, it's magic.  OK.  It's not magic.  It's just a matter of washing them in a more alkaline solution that brings out the colors.

Other odd notes.... I used the system of adding a safety pin at the end of each towel so I could count them as I go along.  I won't bother to do this again.  The pins can sometimes get caught up in the fabric as you wind on and I didn't really care what the count was anyway.

I'm on a cotton streak now.  I'm working on two more runs of towels in 100% cotton.  One is made up of yarn from Mayan Hands using natural dyes and dyed in Guatemala.  The yarn came as a kit but I'm working on a completely different structure and pattern although the instructions that come with the yarn look like they would make wonderful towels.

And I found a pattern in an old Handwoven magazine for a huck lace towel that I love.  All the colors will be different, of course, and the size of the towel but huck lace is huck lace and always wonderful.  These towels will also be 100% cotton.  The yarn for these comes from Susan Fricks at Yarnorama in Paige, TX.  I acquired most of the yarn in a bulk buy out a while back but added some more from Yarnorama just this week to round out what I need for the towels.

One downside of working with cotton - the lint that ends up everywhere.  My whole studio is dusty with cotton lint and the dust bunnies are trying to take over the world!  But it's all worth it for stunning selvedges and amazing towels!

I will let you know as the next sets of towels progress.