I Spent Years Avoiding 10/2 Cotton, and Now I Regret It

All these years, I had avoided weaving projects for 10/2 cotton. Now, that’s all I want to weave.

Christina Garton Jan 31, 2024 - 4 min read

I Spent Years Avoiding 10/2 Cotton, and Now I Regret It Primary Image

Christina’s towel woven in her new favorite 10/2 cotton. Photo by Christina Garton

As the headline states, I’ve spent many years avoiding 10/2 cotton in my weaving. It’s silly, but the thought of threading my yarn at 4 more ends per inch (epi) than with 8/2 cotton was enough to deter me. Twenty-eight epi for twill? No, thank you! Or so I thought. Then, I wove a set of towels in 10/2 cotton, and I absolutely love them. All these years, with one notable exception, I had avoided weaving projects using 10/2 cotton. Now, that’s all I want to weave.

What is it about those 10/2 cotton towels that I love so much? 10/2 cotton drapes so much more beautifully than 8/2 cotton does. The fineness of the fiber also makes for a fabric that looks and feels delicate, even though it’s as strong as—if not stronger than—fabric woven from 8/2 cotton. My 10/2 cotton towels are like the silk scarves of towels; they exude an air of elegance I didn’t think possible from basic twill towels.

Instead of avoiding them, I’m now designing projects for 10/2 cotton. I’m currently planning a set of overshot napkins with one of my favorite drafts from the excellent Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes: Miniature Overshot Patterns (#48, Stormy Weather).

One of the Which Way Napkins by Marge Williams from the September/October 2018 issue of Handwoven. Marge used 10/2 cotton to weave her lovely and lightweight napkins. Photo by George Boe

As for 8/2 cotton, my love for that particular fiber is still as strong as ever. I truly do think 8/2 cotton towels are more absorbent, although I’ve yet to try unmercerized 10/2 cotton, so that might change my mind. I love how much quicker it is to wind and warp a project in 8/2 cotton, and sometimes, when it comes to patterns, bigger is better. When it comes right down to it, of course, the beauty is that I don’t have to choose. I can weave wonderful, thirsty towels from 8/2 cotton and more delicate napkins from 10/2. My newfound love for one yarn doesn’t eliminate—or even decrease—my love for the other; if anything, it only serves to heighten my love for weaving in general.


I suppose I’m really trying to say that if there’s a fiber you’ve been avoiding, either because it’s too scary or too fine, maybe give it a try. So pick up that cone of 100% line linen or extra-fine silk. Give it a try—you might find your new favorite yarn.

Want to try your hand at 10/2 cotton? Check out a dozen projects in 10/2 cotton in this eBook or Marge’s pattern and others in Handwoven September/October 2018.

Happy Weaving!


Also, remember that if you are an active subscriber to Handwoven magazine, you have unlimited access to previous issues, including September/October 2018. See our help center for the step-by-step process on how to access them.

Christina Garton is the editor of Easy Weaving with Little Looms magazine.

Originally published July 11, 2019; updated January 31, 2024.