I don’t know how many of the weavers out there get VAV magazine…but you should! It’s a Swedish handweaving magazine, much like Handwoven, but where Handwoven focuses on the craft of weaving, it seems like VAV focuses on the art of weaving. Lots of articles in the front of the magazine looking at the career paths of different weavers, gallery openings and highlights of fiber exhibits, and then usually 5 or 6 projects near the back…ranging from very simple to complicated. Rarely using more than 8 shafts and often only 4 or two. Lots of plain weave stuff with the fiber or striping carrying the project. A really great magazine! I get my subscription from the Loom Room of Texas.
So I was paging thru an old issue of VAV…I’m sure it was VAV but I’ve gone thru all of them twice and I can’t find that darn article…sometimes life is like that…I will probably find the article as soon as I post this….and there was this little picture of a kitchen Towel called Becker 63.
It was a simple striped towel, the description said it was a damask weave and that John Becker was a renown danish weaver. But I needed a better picture of that towel so I googled it and Georg Jensen…who I thought only made sterling silver jewelry and place settings, had those towels on their website. This is what they said:
This is a classic tea towel with a graphical pattern as its bearing design element. Woven from a strong linen and cotton combination providing optimal drying capacity.
The tea towel was designed in 1963 by the designer and weaver John Becker. It was the first tea towel designed for the damask collection and has maintained its popularity due to its timeless pattern. The design is beautiful in itself but also when combined with other patterns or plain-colored tea towels.
Wow! That towel was designed over 50 years ago! I love plain weave kitchen towels so I decided I could replicate this one in plain weave.
And then I looked at it…feeling a little bit like I stole someone else’s design….which I had.
And I showed it to some girlfriends, one of whom thought it had too much white…so I made some adjustments:
I eliminated the wide white vertical stripe, and the wide white horizontal stripe. And then I looked at it some more and thought…hmmm… so I played around with the proportions of the narrow weft stripes. And looked at it some more . And then I thought … if the white warp stripes change every 8 threads, shouldn’t something be happening on the blue side? So I added a tiny little 2 thread stripe after each set of 14 threads of dark blue. This is what I ended up with:
I used three colors in the warp…a dark gray or black, a medium blue, and a bright white. For the weft I used white and the same medium blue. I love these towels! They have a crisp graphic design and the plain weave means they are thin and flexible and perfect for drying dishes. I made a second set and replaced the gray stripes with black to go with my daughters dishes. (If she folds them in half they can be used as placemats) I gave my daughter a set of 10 for her wedding shower but I still have a few left over and they are in my store.