I have been married for nearly twenty-nine years. We received lots of bath towels for our wedding. I have never bought bath towels since then; the wedding gifts have stood up strong through the years, doing the drying job they needed to do for two and then four people. Last fall, I decided the towels finally were too thinned out and cut them into rags. Now, I love linen fabric, but I don’t remember why I started researching linen towels. The ones we’ve had all along were cotton. Nevertheless, in my research I learned that linen towels are more absorbent and they last longer, especially if they have a higher weight in GSM (grams per square metre). They are also far more expensive than cotton ones. But lo and behold, I found a source of high GSM linen fabric in various colours at an online store in Toronto. The store was holding holidays sales, so I ended up getting several metres of excellent quality linen at a price I could afford. I found myself making up my own dimensions for a new set of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths. I actually made the bath towels smaller than normal, in order to save fabric, laundry space, and storage space. If the linen was more absorbent, then this downsizing plan should work, right? It did. Plus a smaller linen bath towel takes up less space in a travel case and will dry faster in a hostel room. It took awhile to cut and sew everything, but I now have all new towels in linen; they take up FAR less space, dry us more quickly and thoroughly, and dry quickly on the racks. I added embroidery to the hand towels. I worked on the embroidery over these past few months and finished last week. Handstitching is just the BEST for relaxing! (Unless I get competitive with myself and feel compelled to finish “just a few more centimetres…” over and over again…)
At first, I really didn’t like the shade of yellow of this towel. But I jazzed it up with the magenta and green embroidery thread. Now I look at the towel and am reminded of saffron or turmeric spices used in Indian cooking. When I think of Indian craft, I think of colour explosions. So now looking at this towel makes me happy because I picture colourful Indian silk saris.
I love the green towels. The fabric feels hefty, and the shade of green carries a yellow-green tinge to it. I added a watermelon coloured embroidery thread to it.
All eight embroidered hand towels are below. These pretties hang on my stove front and in my bathroom. Did I mention yet how quickly they dry after washing and drying hands? The cotton ones just always seemed damp. These are wonderful!
One other recent project I completed was making another blank notebook for myself. I need to make a new one about once a year, because I use them for organizing my life and schedule. The tutorial I used in the past for stitching book signatures together disappeared from the internet. So I turned to my book by Dover Publications, Hand Bookbinding: A Manual of Instruction. And by the way, who else here LOVES books that Dover Publications offers us?? I’ve bought several Dover books over the years, especially while homeschooling. Anyway, I opened my book (that I had only previously skimmed) and picked my way through the instructions for putting a basic book together. I found that the stitching instructions were MUCH easier than the internet tutorial I had previously used. I also discovered a few other basic bookbinding tips I did not know about. OK, yes, the internet is great for finding tutorials…but when one can find a book with comprehensive and well-written instructions on any task, in my opinion it is well-worth using that book. Not to mention background knowledge and information that books typically give. You can’t usually find that in internet tutorials.
This time I tried adding the strips of cloth to the set of book signatures. The cloth strips are supposed to help hold the signatures together more firmly. I don’t think I did such a great job applying the strips, because this book turned out looser than usual for me. But, as with every new manual skill I learn, I will apply my learning with more skill next time and the product will turn out better. I got a bit impatient with adding new skills this time, because I really needed to get using my new schedule book, haha!
What about you, Readers? Does anyone here do any bookbinding? Or have you ever sewn towels from linen? Please tell me in the comments about your experiences!