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Waffle Weave Away

Just before Thanksgiving I started winding warp for kitchen towels. I wanted to make some for my mom and for my sister-in-law and for my aunt. Well, I wanted to make towels for them and I wanted to try waffle weave so it was a win-win for all of us.

I found the instructions for them in the Handwoven Design Collection 18 which is A Treasury of Towels. Sadly it’s out of print. You can see the cover here. I think you can find them for sale on some other used book websites. Here’s a less expensive one.

Anyway, I wanted them to be a smidge wider and the pattern calls for 10/2 warp but I was using 8/2 so I threaded them at 20 ends per inch rather than 24. (8/2 is thicker than 10/2 in case you aren’t familiar with weaving thread sizes.)

waffle weave

So I put on a warp for 6 towels. and got to work. the instructions say to do plain weave at the beginning and end of each towel for hemming.

waffle weave3


I was all set and sat down to weave. There were a few twisted threads that I fixed pretty easily but there was this spot in the middle.

waffle weave5


I missed a dent in the reed right smack in the middle. I decided to ignore it and hope it all came out in the wash. It is waffle weave and so it’s meant to shrink and pull in.

The width of the warp on the loom is 24 inches.

At the beginning of each towel I pinned on a thread the length that I wanted to weave so i wouldn’t get carried away and make some towels much longer or shorter than others.



And I used my Schacht end delivery feed shuttle that I am more and more in love with. It really seems to help my selvedges look neater.

When i took the towels off of the loom they immediately shrunk to 21.5 inches and after washing they were 17.5 inches which is just a half an inch narrower than my goal so I was pretty happy with that.

Then the hemming was supposed to begin. I hemmed one and it looked terrible. The waffle weave pulls in and the plain weave doesn’t so the hemmed ends were sticking out and looked like crap. I decided instead to zig zag along the edges and just cut.



The don’t look too bad this way. Next year I will be handing out hemmed towels. Instead of doing the plain weave I will just waffle weave the whole thing and hem in the waffle weave.

Now I’m sad I didn’t make 8 so there were enough for me. Well, I still have the loom.



4 Responses so far.

  1. karen says:


    • Cynthia Decker says:

      So beautiful. I wouldn’t want to use them. I would just hang them up to show them off. But, I wouldn’t let anyone use them. You do beautiful work Beth.

  2. Susannah says:

    Love the tea towels!

  3. Nia says:

    For anyone surfing onto this excellent post like I just did, Handwoven Designs Collection 18 is available as a download from Interweave
    https://www.interweave.com/store/handwovens-design-collection-18 and is very affordable. Beth your towels just sold me this book. I love them.

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