I remember the first time I went to a yarn store that carried coned weaving yarns. (I know that you can weave with pretty much any yarn, but I’m talking about the old standby yarns that were really made for us.) I walked to the weaving yarn area and stared in absolute shock at all the choices. Coned cottons of all sizes and colors covered shelf after shelf--I was both ecstatic and terrified. With so many choices, how on earth would I choose what to buy?
Fortunately I was able to get myself together and remember that I edited a weaving magazine and thought back to past projects. Cotton, I knew, was a wonderfully versatile fiber. It is easy to weave, easy to unweave (important for a new weaver), easy to wash, and could be used to make towels (which is what I wanted to weave more than anything--and what I still love to weave more than anything). I settled on 8/2 cotton and carefully chose a small cone of bright white and a small cone of deep navy blue.
I wove four beautiful towels, three of which I gave away and one of which remains my favorite to this day. I fell head over heels in love with cotton, and now my stash is filled with a rainbow of cotton yarns in various sizes.
Whether you’re a new weaver who is intimidated by weaving yarns the way I once was, or you’re a fellow lover of cotton, make sure you check out our new FREE eBook How to Weave with Cotton. It has two wonderful projects as well as good information on finishing cotton handwovens.
What You'll Find Inside How to Weave with Cotton:
Double-Faced Twill Table Mats
By Kate Lange-McKibben
Weaving with cotton allows you to make very utilitarian weaving projects, like these cotton woven mats. Photo by Joe Coca
Double-faced twills are a good way to make thicker cloth. On eight shafts, the warp is sett very close to create a warp-faced twill with two layers stitched together by a single weft under the 3-thread floats. Substitute your favorite colors for your personal use or as gifts. The 4-shaft version is a straight-twill threading with one warp and two wefts. The colors can be interchanged to create weft stripes on each face.
Pinwheels Redux Napkins
By Christina Garton
Cotton yarn made for weaving is great for beginning weavers because it's very easy to manage. Photo by Joe Coca
Learn how to weave a set of woven napkins that involves a twill with color-and-weave effects. You'll also learn step-by-step tips for weaving clean selvedges when weaving any of the 8 different pinwheel drafts in this fun cotton-weaving project.
Finishing Handwoven Cotton Fabrics
By Sharon Alderman
Learn how to wet-finish cotton handwovens in this free eBook. Photo by Anita Osterhaug
Learn the best way to finish handwoven cotton fabrics with Sharon's article that discusses the step-by-step process on the finishing process. Sharon writes: "To understand what cotton needs in the finishing process, it helps to think a little about the fiber itself. Cotton is a seed-hair fiber. It is attached to the cotton seed ... When the fiber has been removed from the seeds in a process called ginning, it may be combed, if it is long enough, or carded to make the yarns we use in weaving. The fiber itself is smooth (no crimps or scales) so it is easy to clean and may be boiled for sterilization if necessary."
Download your FREE copy of How to Weave with Cotton today and start your cotton-weaving projects!
Originally published 07/10/2017 Revised 11/30/2022