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  • Emma Baker

Weaving a springtime collection of handwoven cotton cowls

Updated: 3 days ago

Recently I have had a number of requests for handwoven cotton cowls. So, this month I have started to create a collection of lightweight cotton cowls. I am attending Wonderwool Wales at the end of April so thought these might be perfect to spread some springtime cheer.

Stack of handwoven fine cotton with natural warp and green and orange weft.
Handwoven cotton cowl, woven with natural warp and orange and muted green weft.

Weaving with an 8/2 natural warp I started by creating a roughly 12m long warp of 960 ends (11.9km of yarn!). This cotton is woven with a sett of 24epi so I use a 12 dent reed and slay 2 threads through each slot. Last year I purchased a job lot of deadstock cotton yarn which was much finer than I had appreciated upon purchase. Initially I wasn’t sure how I could use it but I have worked out that if I wind 4 strands at a time onto a spool it creates a yarn equivalent to about 8/2, so perfect for the weft. The 4 strands aren’t always the same yarn but I like the fact that 4 strands of different shades gives an almost variegated effect in the weave. Warping was a straight 8 which gives a massive range of possible lifting plans and a lovely range of different weaving designs. The top design in the left hand image was taken from Janet Phillips book ‘Exploring woven textiles’ and the other patterns from the Ashford website. The first terracotta/orange and muted green cowl has now been made with further colours planned.

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Dressing the loom with 11.9km of yarn!

Initial sampling with orange and green weft.

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