Dishcloth Decoding

A few years ago I bought some washable cotton dishcloths as part of a push to avoid plastic. The weave structure intrigued me, and I decided I would make some of my own some day. When the three cloths began to get smelly and stained I was too busy to weave my own so I bought another set, but those are getting bit old now so I figure it’s time to DIY.

I thought they were a honeycomb structure, and I was so sure I wound a warp without coming up with a draft. When I did look closer I realised they weren’t honeycomb at all, but a kind of waffle-weave with a deflected weft added.

Some hours were spent peering through a magnifying glass, trying to make a draft in Fiberworks that matched what I saw, and getting my face this up near to the fabric really confirmed that these cloths needed replacing. Pew!

What I came up with first was close, but whenever I got the front looking right the back didn’t, and visa versa. The next day I got a sewing needle and looked again, using the needle to shift threads around, and realised that there were more warps in the threading repeat than I’d realised. Once those were added to the draft everything fell into place.

Then I tried to add some plain weave for hems on sides. The only way I could do this was to add two shafts I didn’t have, or turn the draft and treat the honeycomb threads as supplementary warp. Since I had already threaded the loom, I decided my cloths would just have to have no hems on the sides.

Well, the first cloth didn’t come out as well as I hoped:

Even after two washes to shrink it was clear I needed to use a much closer sett, and I wasn’t happy with the selvedges.

And while weaving of the first dishcloth had kept my mind occupied, I could see that these were going to get boring pretty quickly. So I decided that I would move the warp to the floor loom, and since that meant rethreading I may as well turn the draft, which would also speed up the weaving as I’d only be using one shuttle.

However, I have signed up for another workshop, which starts in a week and a half, and I’ll be using the floor loom so I don’t have time to move the warp, weave the cloths and then warp for the workshop. This project is going to have to wait until December.

Which frees up the Jane loom for a bit more Echo weaving. I’m planning to design my own draft, try a different warp colour combo, do the doubleweave exercise I abandoned in the Echo and Jin workshop, then weave a scarf.