Huck Lace Rerun

The previous set of Huck towels were so much fun, I had to try again. This time in green and natural cotton. I wanted to make a slight change to the draft – you can see it by comparing these two towels:

Comparison of original and revised pattern

In the blue and yellow version there are three more dark sets of floats that I removed from the green and natural version. This was managed by moving one column of dark floats to a different shaft and by weaving plain weave in the rows where I wanted to remove both dark floats. This gave me the flexibility to remove those three dark floats when I wanted, or to treadle the pattern differently to get them in again. If you look closely at the first three towels above, you’ll see that the floats are all in groups of five.

One of the most satisfying aspects of Huck Lace is the way the fabric changes as you take it off of the loom and wash it. Take a look at this with towel #4. On the loom it looked like this:

Towel # 4 on the loom

All of the threads are straight and there’s some space between them. Once it’s off the loom and no longer under tension, the threads start to deflect due to the floats:

Towel #4 off of the loom

Then when the towel is washed, the threads relax even more and the holes between the threads close up somewhat:

Towel #4 after washing

Here’s a gallery of detail pictures for all six towels:

You may have noticed that Towels 4 & 5 are quite similar. The difference between them is how hard I was beating the weft. Towel 4 was woven at about 20 picks per inch, while Towel 5 was woven at 15ppi. With a sett of 15epi, the patterns on towel 5 (and 6) were more close to square than the earlier towels. The resulting fabric was probably a bit loose for tea towels, but just right for hand towels.

All in all this was a fun project – and now I have six soft, squishy cotton towels that I will be proud to hang in my kitchen.

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