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Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom

Color-and-Weave Tea Towels

Color-and-Weave is a great technique for rigid heddle weavers to explore more complex designs by using color order in the warp and weft to create intricate patterns. These towels are woven with 2 cones of our Italian Cotton/Linen yarn on a rigid heddle loom.

Jenny writes, "I used this yarn doubled in both warp and weft to create four thirsty, medium weight towels. The weaving is simple plain weave, but playing with the weft color order creates a variety of towels on a single warp. Wind a longer warp and try other weft color orders. You will probably run out of warp before you run out of ideas."

Designed by Jenny Sennott for GIST: Yarn and Fiber.

Need some help getting started? Check out Resources for Beginner and Intermediate Weavers

Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom


Warp & Weft: 2 cones of Italian Cotton/Linen Yarn in contrasting colors 

Kits: Each kit contains enough yarn to make 4 large tea towels that measure approximately 18" W x 25.75" L 




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Project Notes 

  • Tools Required: Rigid heddle loom with a 20" width, 12 dent reed, two shuttles
  • EPI: 12 with yarn strands doubled
  • Width at Reed: 19.8"
  • Warp Ends: 238 working ends (counting each doubled strand as one)
  • Warp Length: 5 yards
  •  Draft/Technique: Tabby weave, color-and-weave
  • Length of One Towel Under Tension: 34" 
  • Finished Dimensions: 4 towels that each measure approximately 18" wide by 25.75" long 
  • Finishing Details: Rolled hem stitched by hand or machine 
  • Care Instructions: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low, or air dry if preferred
Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom


Warp Color Order:   

 D = a Dark yarn, L = a Light yarn  

  •  (D D D L D D D L L L L) Repeat this sequence 21 times
  •  End with (D D D L D D D) for a total of 238 working ends

Weft Color Order: 

  • Option 1 (Darker): D D D L D L D L 
  • Option 2 (Lighter): L L L D L D L D

See drafts below for a mock-up of these options.

Weave 2” hems using a single strand as weft. Then, weave 30” of color work using yarns doubled on shuttles and following the weft color order.  

Option 1 (Darker)

Option 2 (Lighter)

Finishing:  Jenny writes, " Zigzag ends of both towels. Cut apart and machine wash in cool water, normal cycle. Tumble dry on low. Turn hem edges twice for rolled hems, and press. Stitch hems by hand or by machine."  If you do not have a sewing machine you can easily complete the rolled hem by hand and wash the towels once you are finished sewing. 

For more information on Color-and-Weave, check out this page on the Interweave website or this blog post by Eva Stossel.

Free Pattern Color and Weave Tea Towels on a Rigid Heddle Loom
October 04, 2018 — Emma Rhodes


Pamela Gunnell

Pamela Gunnell said:

I hope each of you figured the weft out: you will have to cut and tuck your weft at the end of the color picks, then start a new color, doing the cut and tuck for the color change in the weft.

Debbie Hammond

Debbie Hammond said:

Disregard comment above, I got it. Just didn’t see it at first. Can’t wait to finish all of them. Beautiful pattern, thank you!

Debbie Hammond

Debbie Hammond said:

I just finished warping for the color and weave pattern. Like
Dories Coleman posted if I throw three picks of D my shuttle is on the left. Then I throw one pick of L it’s on the right. Am I just going to have a lot of ends woven in or am I understanding this wrong?

Dorrie Coleman

Dorrie Coleman said:

Maybe I’m not reading the weft picks correctly, or I’m just to new of an RH Weaver, but if I throw 3 picks D that puts my shuttle on my left. Then I throw 1 pick from the L shuttle, it ends up on the right. How do I get the D shuttle on the right again to throw the next pick?

Sarah Resnick

Sarah Resnick said:

RoJene and Vicki, It’s working for lots of people! You click on Payment, but it’s not going to ask you for your credit card info. If it does, it’s because you have something that isn’t free in your cart. Feel free to email me at if you are still having trouble!


Vicki said:

same thing happened to me


RoJene said:

I can’t get past the credit card info, it wants the info and it says I won’t have to give it

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