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Fluttery Lace Curtain

Weave a gauzy linen window covering that ripples in the breeze

Regina McInnes , Handwoven Editors Apr 10, 2024 - 5 min read

Fluttery Lace Curtain Primary Image

Loosely sett linen in huck lace makes for a gauzy curtain. Photos by Matt Graves

The simple beauty of linen has inspired weavers for thousands of years—including designer Regina McInnes. She received some fine linen fiber from a weaving friend, and she used it to weave tea towels and table linens. Then she set a new goal for herself. Could she use it to weave a gauzy curtain? Here she is to tell you more about the design she came up with.

Fluttery Lace Curtain by Regina McInnes

Though I’m still at an early stage of my weaving journey, my favorite yarn remains fine linen. I have woven with wool, cotton, cottolin, Tencel, and acrylic yarn but find myself drawn to the simple beauty of linen. Maybe it’s because weavers have used linen since ancient times. It also helps that even today, linen is a desirable fiber for everything from bedding to high-end fashion.

I received a stash of linen from a dear weaver friend, Joan Pearson. I bought my loom from her in 2019, and she included a box full of yarn with it, most of which was fine linen. After having learned how to handle the linen and use it in weaving tea towels and tablecloths, I wanted to see if I could make a gauzy material. That’s when the Handwoven Spring 2024 theme of “flights of fancy” gave me the idea of designing a curtain for a bathroom, which would fly in the breeze of the open window.

For an airy material, lace comes to mind. I wondered what would happen if I used huck lace at a wider-than-suggested sett. Would it make the material suitable for a curtain that lets in light and air but keeps prying eyes out? While I was weaving the material, I was convinced of my failure, as the cloth did not look anything like the drawdown I had made. Still, I persevered and finished it in the hope that it would come out okay when off the loom and wet-finished. Off the loom, it still did not look very promising.

The pattern didn’t appear until after I wet-finished, sewed, and hung the curtain in the window with the light shining through it. The pattern does not look like your classic huck lace, but it is pleasing, especially when looking at it from a distance. The choice of the turquoise color helped give this piece the desired effect of brightening up the bathroom, especially on a warm, sunny day with the breeze coming in and moving the curtain.

A turquoise curtain hangs over a window.Regina used line linen she received from a dear friend to weave this curtain.

Project at a Glance and PDF Download

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STRUCTURE Huck lace and plain weave.
EQUIPMENT 8-shaft loom, 25" weaving width; 14- or 12-dent reed; 1 shuttle.
Warp: 16/1 line linen (100% linen; 5,556 yd/lb; Vävstuga), turquoise, 1,748 yd.
Weft: 16/1 line linen, turquoise, 541 yd.
Notes on warp and weft: Regina used line linen from her stash and estimated its weight using a McMorran yarn balance. The warp and weft quantities are sufficient for making a curtain 1½ yd long with a curtain-rod pocket.

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