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Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels

Pinstripe Tea Towels 

This vibrant pinstripe pattern uses four colors of our 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn. Weave a set of six towels and experiment with color mixing in the warp and weft for a design that is truly one-of-a-kind. 

Want to weave a similar project on your rigid heddle loom? Check out our Pinstripe Napkins pattern. 

Designed by Sarah Resnick for GIST: Yarn & Fiber. 

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

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels


Warp & Weft : 4 cones of 8/2 Un-Mercerized Cotton Weaving Yarn 

Kits: Each kit includes enough yarn to make 6 towels that measure approximately 15" W x 20" L


Crater Lake

Joshua Tree

Project Notes

  •    Tools Required: 2-4 shaft table or floor loom 10 dent reedshuttle & bobbins
  •    EPI: 20 (2 per dent in a 10 dent reed) 
  •    Width at Reed: 17"  
  •    Warp Ends: 340  
  •    Warp Length: 5 yards  
  •    Technique: Tabby weave
  •    Finishing Details: Hand sewn 1/2" rolled hem
  •    Care Instructions: Machine wash, tumble dry
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels
Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels

Creating Pattern with Color  

Sarah writes, "For these towels, I wanted to create a pattern with 'structured randomness.' Weaving teachers might not approve of this process description because it takes some "liberties" with the cross, but it is one of my favorite ways to design at the loom. 

Using a warping mill or warping board, I wind with all four colors at once. Instead of creating a cross between each thread, I make the cross with four threads at a time. This is a quick way to create colorful pinstripes while warping. (If you want each warp thread to appear in the exact same order throughout your warp, I suggest using a warping paddle to easily warp four threads at once). 

Take your warp chain to the loom and wind on back to front. When it’s time to thread the heddles, grab each bundle of 4 threads one at a time. I randomly select the order of the colors in each bundle of 4 and thread one bundle at a time. Sometimes this results in two warp threads of the same color, from two separate bundles, being threaded next to each other. That’s OK! I like the random look here that occasionally includes doubles of colors.

This is the part where weaving teachers might not approve because it means that there are going to be crossed threads at the back of the loom. I have found this to be just fine as long I stick to threading one bundle of 4 at a time and do not cross threads far across the beam of my loom. As I advance the warp and open the shed, the crossed threads seem to even themselves out and weaving continues happily.

Thread your entire warp this way and then sley 2 ends per dent in a 10-dent reed. If you're making this on a rigid heddle loom with 2 x 10 dent heddles, one warp thread goes into each slot and hole. 

These towels offer a great opportunity to see how different weft colors interact and play with a pinstripe warp. I take 4 bobbins or pirns and wind them with each of the 4 colors, being careful to wind different amounts onto each bobbin/pirn.

As I’m weaving I’ll pick up and weave through one bobbin/pirn at a time and then start going with another one, resulting in stripes and blocks of color that blend seamlessly from one towel to the next. The result is a set of towels that are each unique but will play well together beautifully in your kitchen." 

Free Weaving Pattern Handwoven Cotton Pinstripe Tea Towels

About Sarah Resnick

Sarah Resnick is the founder of GIST: Yarn & Fiber, and the co-host of the Weave podcast. She learned how to weave in Toronto in 2009, and was hauling a Craigslist loom up to her apartment two months later...she's never looked back since! Other parts of her fiber journey included selling handwoven baby wraps, helping to launch a sewing factory in Fall River, Massachusetts, and creating Jewish ritual textiles for people celebrating life cycle events. The thread that winds through everything she does is a passion for building systems that directly support farmers, manufacturers, and artists to bring value and beauty into the world. 

Sarah Resnick
September 17, 2018 — Emma Rhodes


Laura Cummings

Laura Cummings said:

I’m an advanced beginner weaver, and I thought this kit would be a great way to increase my knowledge. Boy, has it ever! It’s taken me over a week to warp and thread my RH loom and I’m still not done! I have wasted a good bit of the thread that is on my kit, as I had to cut the first warp off, because it was a tangled mess. I don’t know how to manage so many ends without them getting tangled up, and that’s what has caused all my problems. I’m still at it, though, and I hope to actually start weaving soon. And I also think the pattern, as it’s written, needs more clarification. The pattern assumes much more than is apparent, like threading 2 heddles, etc, and I didn’t see a weaving order, either. Guess that’s up to me!

Nora Garza

Nora Garza said:

Is this the correct sequence for working with two heddles?

Plain weave sequence -
Both heddles up, both heddles down.

Thank you, Nora

lain weave sequence-  Both heddles up, both heddles dowlain weave sequence-  Both heddles up, both heddles dow

lain weave sequence- Both heddles up, both heddles dowlain weave sequence- Both heddles up, both heddles dow said:

Is this the correct sequence for working with two heddles?

Plain weave sequence -
Both heddles up, both heddles down.

Thank you, Nora

Nora Garza

Nora Garza said:

I have a rigid heddle loom. Can you suggest a video to learn how to work with two heddles or a double heddle. I bought the Joshua kit. Thank you. Nora

carolyn porter

carolyn porter said:

what is price of kit

Sarah Resnick

Sarah Resnick said:

Hi Bonnie,

Yes, you could definitely double up the yarn! It would look a bit different, but it would still turn out lovely. Another option if you don’t want to have to deal with doubling up the warp and weft is to use the 8/4 un-mercerized cotton in my shop, which is twice the size of the 8/2. Hope that helps – have fun making these towels!


Vivian said:

I have been using the Gist organic cottolin in the warp of a strong cottolin in a random stripe. I used a twill pattern that called for a heavy weft from Jane Patrick’s “Idea Book”. The Gist in the weft is luscious and creates a lovely towel. The drape is fabulous! The front, which is actually behind when I weave is the underside of twill…or what I think Sarah calls tabby, so is background to my warp stripes. The backside is this luscious soft of the cottolin and more a wash of the weft cottolin colour of ice. I finished off drying in the drier and I really shrunk the towel after my first use. I am on to my next warp of 4 towels and won’t put the next group in the drier! Before I dried in the drier this towel felt clean and sturdy after a whole week of use in the kitchen.

Bonnie Householder

Bonnie Householder said:

I have a rigid heddle loom, but without a double heddle ability. I recently warped some very fine rayon yarn, using two strands together and used a heavier weight rayon boucle for the weft. The result was spectacular especially as I also used a pick up stick to create a design. To use your yarn if I doubled it for the warp and weft, do you think it would work out? Love the color palettes…I’ve been weaving scarves and shawls but would love to try towels and domestics. Any thoughts on this approach? Thank you!

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