Weaving kitchen cloths

Kitchen cloths were one of the first weaving projects I ever attempted. They are really perfect for beginner weavers, as at their most simple they can be just a square of plain weave. And, at the end, the weaver has a beautiful and functional woven piece.

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If the weaver wants something a little more challenging, adding pick up sticks adds interest to the weave and functionality to the cloth, making the cloth not only very attractive but more absorbent with the added texture.

I am often asked the question "Which yarn is best for kitchen cloths?" 

In my opinion, thick cotton is the absolute best fibre for kitchen cloths. It is soft, absorbent, easy to wash and care for, unlikely to harbour bacteria if treated properly and yarns come in many different colours.

My favourite cotton to use for my cloths is from a mill not too far from me. It is a gorgeous cotton, so it makes sense for me to buy and excellent Australian owned and locally produced product.

But, what about those of you who can't access this yarn due to location? Well, there are plenty of alternatives! 

A very popular cotton is the American made Sugar n Cream. It is just the right weight for kitchen cloths, is affordable and comes in many bright and variegated colours.

There are some beautiful organic cottons out there too, such as Babytoly, which comes in natural as well as bright, happy colours.

I have also successfully used a bamboo cotton blend for cloths. The end result is a little different, the cloth is heavier when wet and does not tend to wear as well over time. Still, it make a beautiful, soft and absorbent cloth. If you're interested in trying a blend, something like this Lion Brand Blend, which is 50% bamboo and 50% cotton would work well.

I have also had fun buying white or natural cotton to dye in variegated colours, using fibre reactive dyes. You can either use the variegated as warp and a solid, contrasting colour as weft or vice versa - both give wonderful results.

My kitchen will always have handmade cloths now, I can't go back to the disposable cloths I once used!

If you would like to have a go at weaving some yourself, I can help with that!

My Etsy shop has a step by step downloadable pattern "Textured Kitchen Cloths" for rigid heddle loom that you can find here.
Or if visual learning is more your style, you may wish to take this class instead.

My Textured Cloths pattern only needs a small loom to weave, the Sampleit is perfect for this project.

I should also mention my Waffle Weave tutorial on Youtube, which gives great texture for kitchen cloths.

I hope that you will experience the joy of weaving and using your very own kitchen cloths.

Until next time...

Happy Weaving!


Bianca said...

Great article. Now I know what my next project will be, after the Farmer's Bag 😊

Kelly Casanova said...


Laura Francis, "Your Minimal Effort(tm) Guru" said...


Thanks for this! I wanted to clarify, because I'm in the U.S. and we might say things a bit differently: When you say "Kitchen Cloth" do you mean a towel or a washcloth? Or do you use the same type of cloth for both jobs? I ask because my first thought was "towel" but the worsted-weight cotton you mentioned is more often used for washcloths where I come from, with a finer yarn or thread for towels.

Either way, it was fun to see so many variations and fun to think about one of these for my next project! Thanks, Kelly!

kelesney said...

kelly...inspiring article and since i have been researching my ukrainian heritage and their tradition of weaving i think it's time to do some pick ups. thank for giving us your words o'wisdom. karen ; )

Kelly Casanova said...

Laura, I guess I mean a washcloth rather than a towel. This is the type of cloth I would use in the kitchen for wiping surfaces and washing dishes in the sink.
For kitchen towels (for drying dishes) I would use a much thinner cotton :)
Hope that helps!

Kelly Casanova said...

Oh yes, Ukrainian weaving (and embroidery!) is amazing!

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