Mercerized Cotton 8/2

Forums Weaving Discussion Mercerized Cotton 8/2


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    • #178295

        Hi….I am planning on doing a tea towel from Anne Field’s book “Learn to Weave”. She calls for using 8/2 mercerized cotton and says its readily available. However I can’t find it anywhere! I’ve never used mercerized cotton and am interested to see the structure with this yarn. Does anyone know where I could find this cotton? Or do you have a recommendation for a substitute. The pattern is an M&O structure so I’m thinking a stiffer yarn might be better for a dish towel?

        Thanks so much for any assistance!

      • #178298

          Hi Rooney,

          I’m not familiar with your source but I would not recommend mercerized cotton for a tea towel because it is not as absorbent as regular cotton or cottolin which in y humble opinion are the best yarns for tea towels. But if you must have mecerized, Maurice Brassard has a small selection of colours.

          Enjoy your project.





        • #178300

            I would go for unmercerized 8/2 cotton, much more absorbent and that’s the one that’s readily available. Sounds like a typo in the pattern.

            Good luck.

          • #178305

              And a “PS” to my post… here’s a photo of some tea towels I did back in 2009 with an Ms and Os weave structure using unmercerized cotton (this was a project published in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of Handwoven).

              Towels 0309

            • #178316

                Hi Rooneymt,  Anne Field was a wonderful and talented weaver who lived and wove in New Zealand and it could just be that mercerized cotton was more readily available to her when she wrote the book.  Should you want to know more about the process of mercerization  – Jane talks about it in Season 1 – episode  7.3 – A Look at Cotton and Linen at about the 4 minute mark in the video.  I’m just going to add a bit to Sylvia, Heidi and Patricia’s previous comments.

                I just looked at Anne’s book and she seems to use cottolin and mercerized cotton for her household projects in the book.  The towel you are looking at would be wonderful in cottolin – I admit, I’m biased towards cottolin for tea towels.  However, should you want non mercerized cotton, organic cotton and regular cotton are available in a wide range of colours.  All are very absorbant, with the organic cottolin giving you a slight bit more firmness to your cloth.

              • #178304

                  I definitely agree… unmercerized is preferred for tea/kitchen/guest towels as it is produces a more absorbent cloth.  I purchase it online from Yarn Barn of Kansas.

                  The 8 oz tubes are from Maurice Brassard, in a large selection of colors:


                  The 1 lb. cones are from Supreme/UKI and also in a large selection of colors:


                  Their customer service is excellent, and they have helped me with color selections by email many times over the years.


                • #179883
                  Ed Chapman

                    I really love 8/2 cottolin. I wove some tea towels using it 5 years ago on a table top loom and they get used weekly, for everything, hard. STILL going strong. The store bought ones disintegrated long ago. Cottolin wears better than 100% cotton.

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