Weekend Weaving: Weaving for Weddings
Twenty-eight years ago today, I got married. Looking back, I realize how young and naive we were. We planned a backyard wedding celebration, on a deck we had built for the occasion. Connecticut on July 1st is at the height of mugginess and mosquito season. We woke to a steamy overcast day so uncomfortable that we joked about using the garage rather than the deck for the ceremony. However, with help from my family, we spent the morning cleaning house and washing windows. Under a tent on the lawn, the tables were arranged and decorated with flowers, cans of mosquito repellent, and bottles of sunscreen.
Our wedding was small and lovely. Afterward, with a toasty temperature and humidity in attendance, caterers assembled the chocolate mousse wedding cake so the photographer could take a quick picture, then they disassembled it to avoid a melted mess. We had a wonderful time eating, drinking champagne, and dancing the afternoon and evening away—me in the wedding dress I made—on the deck we built.
We didn’t have a wedding registry, so the gifts we received were a complete surprise. Most people gave us beautiful things that I still love bringing out for special occasions: silver salad servers, a silver bowl, a cake plate and server, and a woven picnic basket. Whenever I use them, I think of the person who gave us the gift on that crazy-sticky-wonderful day. If you’re wondering, we did not receive anything homemade, which I would have loved to receive.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed making and giving a few doubleweave blankets as wedding gifts as well as a good many towels. This year, we are invited to 2 weddings: the first in Lima, Peru, and the other in Southern California. I plan to weave 2 sets of white linen towels for gifts. Linen is traditional and beautiful, timeless, and practical. Nothing dries wedding crystal (or for that matter, a coffee cup) like linen. Linen washes well, and although it does take some ironing to look pretty, it improves with age—just like a good marriage.
If you are looking for gift ideas to weave for upcoming weddings or other special occasions, consider towels. If you’re short on time, with perseverance you could finish a couple of rigid-heddle towels in a weekend. Weaving towels on a multishaft loom will probably take more than 1 weekend, and linen towels more than 2, but I guarantee you will have woven something that the recipients can cherish over a lifetime of wedded bliss.
Check out some of the towels in the weaving products below, perfect for a wedding gift this summer. If you like the idea of white linen towels, my absolute favorites are the “Huck Heaven: linen towels in huck” by Lynn Tedder and Ruth Morrison in the January/February 2001 edition of Handwoven.