Weekend Weaving: Cajun-Inspired Cotton Dish Towels

When life is busy and if you’ve only got time to weave on the weekend, you may prefer something that doesn’t take too much concentration. For those times, look for something you can easily warp that doesn’t have too many color changes. Rely on simple threading patterns and repetitive treadling that allows you to listen to an audiobook, your favorite music, or even the dialogue of a well-loved movie or TV show as you weave. Tom Knisely’s Cajun-inspired Cotton Dish Towels in the Handwoven January/February 2015 issue, hit all these criteria, and you end up with some awesome dish towels.

Cajun Towels

Cajun Towels by Tom Knisely in Handwoven January/February 2015

There are 3 colors in the warp and weft, with large sections without color changes. With a straight-draw threading on 4 shafts, you can relax—but keep your wits about you because from time to time there are multiple warp threads on one shaft. The treadling uses only 2 treadles, but again has a little variation in the number of picks per treadle to keep it interesting and add texture. Tom used natural and tan cottons in his towels to mimic natural cotton colors, and deep blue cotton to mimic indigo-dyed cotton, but you can pick 3 colors from your stash that look good together.

I’ve never bought into the idea of matching kitchen towels to my kitchen. In fact, I sometimes go out of my way to weave handwoven towels that don’t match nor coordinate with the room—it’s more fun and can spark some interesting color ideas. Celebrate spring in hot pink, orange, and tan, or go nautical with navy, white and gold. Tom wove a striped towel using only one weft color, and a plaid using all three colors, but you can change that up and weave these towels in your own style. There are no rules. It’s your weekend and you can weave what you want.

Weave well,

Featured Image: A piece of traditional Japanese zanshi cloth from Handwoven January/February 2015 page 20.

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One Comment

  1. John G at 7:21 am March 29, 2017

    As a beginner, I wove these towels straight out of Tom’s article, and they turned out very nicely, and are about to go on display again for a Guild presentation at a local library. They have also been well-received by the experienced weavers.

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