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The Tea Towel as a Canvas

As so many of you know, I (Jane) love to teach and  I try to teach skills that will help weavers develop their own design sensibility, encourage them to try out their ideas and most of all become independent thinkers and problem solvers.  I love to work all this out with tea towels, simply because they are a small and inexpensive way to  experiment without the financial stress of expensive yarns.  If you have an idea that you might like to try but you’re going to weave it in silk or cashmere, you get pretty darned stressed out about getting it right. However, if you have an idea and you make a warp with 2/8 cotton and things go wrong, you’ve really only blown around $10.00.  A small price to pay for a great deal of learning.

Learning what not to do, is just as important as learning what you should do. And so……….I encourage tea towels.

Once you have a successful towel you can look at it as a design sketch for a blanket or a placemat or a piece of yardage.  A stripe in it could become a scarf…….the possibilities are endless and tea towels make wonderful gifts.

We had the tea towel wall in my studio which  became the tea towel corner, which has recently  had a 2nd layer added to it.  I have over 200 tea towels now and they have all been woven by my students who have taken the Colour and Design workshop or Twills on 4.  Students in these workshops often do exchanges between themselves to share what they have learned and sometimes I get lucky and get one for the wall.

Several of them came from the 2010  “Twills on 4” groups who had to create their own twill threadings during the workshop………they took their threadings home and interpreted them in these towels……..pretty darn awesome.

Thank You to Marianne, Jennifer, Karen, Sasha and Linda for helping our towel wall grow!  and thank you to all the weavers who have contributed to the wall for many many years.