Inkle Bands Combine Math and Color
My love of weaving kitchen towels seems inexplicable. Why do I spend hours on my computer designing, hours at my warping board winding, and then hours on my loom threading, sleying, and weaving something that I can purchase for $7.95 at a big-box store? I’m sure that it seems, to an outside observer, like insanity, but for a weaver, it somehow makes sense. I recently heard another weaver say that weaving satisfies both sides of her brain: the mathematical/logical side and the creative side. It’s math with color. Hooray for the handwoven, everyday kitchen towel that combines the two.
Why do I love weaving towels?
- Towels are a relatively small format but large enough to make a statement.
- Towels can be woven on a rigid-heddle loom or a 24-shaft loom.
- Towels are usually woven with cotton or linen, two wonderful fibers.
- Cotton and linen yarns that work well for handwoven towels come in a wide range of colors.
- Handwoven towels are completely customizable.
That last bullet point is why I became interested in inkle-band weaving. I started noticing that many commercial kitchen towels had a band on them for hanging. Then I saw a few handwoven towels with pretty bands on them for hanging, and I became more interested in weaving inkle bands. Just as I want to weave a towel that is both useful and beautiful, I want the hanging bands on my towels to be both, too.
I don’t weave super-fancy inkle bands for my towels, but I do weave simple bands that either match or perfectly complement them. For a set of color-and-weave towels, I wove stripes of the same colors that I had used in the towels. For a set of white Ms and Os towels that I gave to a friend who recently became an American citizen, I wove inkle bands in red, white, and blue.
Why do I love weaving inkle bands for handwoven towels?
- Inkle bands are a relatively small format but large enough to make a statement.
- Inkle bands can be woven on an inkle loom, a very portable, fun loom.
- Inkle bands are usually woven with cotton or linen, two wonderful fibers.
- Cotton and linen yarns that work well for inkle bands come in a large range of colors.
- Inkle bands are completely customizable.
If you, too, love to weave, love to weave towels, and want to add a special touch to your handwoven towels, try inkle-band weaving. They are like little math equations with color.
Featured Image: Inkle looms and cotton are a perfect match. Credit: George Boe
Here are resources to help you weave pretty bands for your own handwoven towels!