All Access Exclusive

Shadow Weave Incognito Towels

By breaking with tradition, Barbara Goudsmit designed a shadow-weave design ... without shadows. This is a free download of her 4-shaft towel pattern for All Access members.

Susan E. Horton Mar 29, 2023 - 3 min read

Shadow Weave Incognito Towels Primary Image

Shadow Weave Incognito towels by Barbara Goudsmit. Photo by Matt Graves

Traditionally color-and-weave designs, including shadow weave and log cabin, have been woven with two colors in warp and weft—one color that is a dark value and one color that is a light value. I’ve noticed in recent years, however, that this traditional approach has evolved. The principle of using two contrasting values has remained steady, but rather than using the same two colors for both warp and weft, today’s weavers are introducing more colors, two in the warp and two in the weft. Traditional color-and-weave is beautiful, and so are these hybrid versions.


Barbara Goudsmit’s Delft Blue Napkins from September/October 2020 use several colors in warp and weft but maintain the typical value contrasts of shadow weave. Photo by Matt Graves

You don’t have to look through too many of her patterns to know that Barbara Goudsmit is a fan of shadow weave. For some projects, she has woven traditional shadow weave, and in others she has added her own design stamp to the draft or color selection. Now, in her latest project, the Shadow Weave Incognito towels offered here for All Access members, Barbara has played with values in another unique way. Starting with a traditional 4-shaft shadow-weave draft, she adjusted the warp and weft color orders to include two dark colors that are close in value that contrast with a much lighter third color. As she states in her project introduction, “By deviating from the rules, I lost one of shadow weave’s defining characteristics, the shadowed motifs. However, this project shows that making a familiar weaving technique a starting point can lead to exciting new places.”

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