Towels are always near the top of our list for great projects. There’s something so satisfying about weaving a useful but also truly beautiful item. Over the years, Handwoven has published hundreds of towel patterns ranging from simple plain weave to deliciously complex designs. Several towels have risen to the top in recent years, and of those, here are just a few of our favorites to inspire your weaving.
1.) Rosebud Trellis Fingertip Towels [4-shaft]
Rosebud Trellis Fingertip Towels by Malynda Allen. Photo by Matt Graves
Designer Malynda Allen incorporated various elements of a rose garden in her design. The rosepath portion is reminiscent of roses climbing bricks, the diamond twill captures the essence of a garden trellis, and another section might remind you of tiny rosebuds. The warp in the pattern yields two towels, but if you’d prefer napkins, that same warp will make three napkins. Along with the original towels, we also have these lovely bonus designs for mixing and matching. Whether you reserve these towels for guests or use them in the kitchen, they will add a touch of luxury to your home.
Get the design in Handwoven Mar/Apr 2023
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/63879286/
2.) Black Cat Towels [12-shaft]
Black Cat Towels by Sherrie Amada Miller. Photo by Matt Graves
Add a bit of fun to your kitchen and gift-giving with these towels from Sherrie Amada Miller. Designed for weaving on 12-shaft table or dobby looms, these summer and winter towels will make you purr with delight. Make them in their original colors for a fall/Halloween set, or play with other colors for towels that fit your décor year-round or match your calico kitty.
Get the design + WIFs in the library
3.) Shadow Weave Incognito Towel [4-shaft]
Shadow Weave Incognito Towel by Barbara Goudsmit. Photo by Matt Graves
Barbara Goudsmit’s towels are an exciting new way of imagining color-and-weave. In some aspects, they are shadow weave, but in other ways, they may be something else entirely. In all ways, they are beautiful, and different designs on each side make deciding which is the right side for hemming difficult.
Get the design on the Handwoven website
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/93032289
4.) Towels in a Modern Arrangement [4-shaft]
Towels in a Modern Arrangement by Linda Gettmann. Photo by George Boe
Inspired by a newfound love of crackle weave, Linda Gettmann created this towel design using four shafts rather than the traditional eight. She wove six towels, each with a different pair of weft colors, choosing pairs close to each other on the color wheel. Because these towels allow you to play with color combinations, this is a great stash-busting project for using up some leftover partial cones of 8/2 cotton.
Get the design in the library
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/MwGd1Vq7StiviAn88jl13w
5.) Circles and Checks Towels In Turned Taqueté [8-shaft]
Circles and Checks Towels In Turned Taqueté by Susan Poague. Photo by George Boe
These stunning turned taqueté towels can be woven on an 8-shaft loom and require only one shuttle. Susan Poague chose a green/blue palette in 8/2 cotton, but we’ve seen some stunning rainbow versions and other equally beautiful colorways online.
Get the design in Handwoven May/June 2019
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/55988023
6.) Bauhaus Weaver Hand Towels [4-shaft]
Bauhaus Weaver Hand Towels by Christine Novotny. Photo by Matt Graves
Christine Novotny’s Bauhaus-inspired towels use a summer-and-winter weave structure. The monochromatic shifts in the warp combined with stark black-and-white stripes add visual interest and play well with the color changes inherent in the weave structure. The towels can be woven with a neutral or vibrant-colored pattern weft for different effects. These hand towels deliver a clean, modern design while paying homage to the Bauhaus weavers who drove the textile industry forward in the early-and mid-twentieth century.
Get the design in Handwoven Mar/Apr 2021
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/55987948
7.) Random Exchange Towels [8-shaft and 4-shaft]
Random Exchange Towels by Kathie Roig. Photo by Matt Graves
Designer Kathie Roig expanded on her usual unplanned warping process for these twill towels. She aimed to use all 12 colors in a pleasing gradation, randomly yet orderly, changing the warp from warm to cool colors. The results are controllable—and it is a technique that can be used with all sorts of weave structures.
Get the design in the library
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/55987825
8.) My Very Peri Perfect Towels [8-shaft]
The original and new versions of My Very Peri Perfect Towels by Tracy Kaestner. Photo by Matt Graves
This towel project from designer Tracy Kaestner is a remake of one of her all-time favorites. The original towel (the aqua one in the picture above) is 18 years old. It’s become a favorite in their house because of the way it feels and that it works well in their half bath. Combining cottolin and lace creates a lovely hand, perfect for a bath or kitchen towel.
Get the design: in Handwoven Nov/Dec 2022
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/55987817
9.) Quilter’s Block Fingertip Towels [4-shaft]
Quilter’s Block Fingertip Towels by Jill Staubitz. Photo by Matt Graves
These towels are newer, but they were an instant favorite. Using overshot patterned doubleweave, Jill Staubitz tried this old but new-to-her technique by weaving these colorful and “quilterly” towels. There’s no need for shaft envy with this doubleweave!
Get the design in Handwoven Nov/Dec 2023
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/199412496/
10.) Turning Autumn Towels [4-shaft]
Turning Autumn Towels by Cynthia Newman. Photo by Matt Graves
The nubby, organic look and feel of hemp yarn and its exceptional absorbency make it an excellent choice for handwoven towels. Today, you’ll find many toned-down colors of three-ply hemp that partner well with two-ply natural-colored hemp yarn. Cynthia Newman’s towels are drop-dead gorgeous, and they say fall without using oranges and yellows.
Get the design in Handwoven Sept/Oct 2020
Get the WIF: handwovenmagazine.com/library/55987911
Enjoy weaving these favorite towels and discover new favorites for yourself in past pages of Handwoven or scroll through the Handwoven Library for more towel eye candy and inspiration!