Friday, March 17, 2017

towel binding tutorial

I have received many questions (on Instagram, here on the blog, and in a Facebook group I belong to) about how I bind my handwoven towels. I decided the easiest thing to do is to post a tutorial here. warning, this post is photo heavy!

When I take my towels off of the loom, the first thing I do is zigzag both ends of each towel and cut them apart. The zigzag prevents the ends of the towels from unravelling during the washing process. Since I want the recipients of my towels to be able to actually USE them, I throw them in the washing machine and dryer before I even bind them. This shrinks the towels, tightens the weave and makes them ready to bind. I do NOT prewash my binding fabric as I find most good quality cottons don't really shrink much when washed. This is my preference.... some might disagree with me.

After it's been washed and dried, measure the width of your towel.


You will need 2 strips of binding fabric, one for each end. I cut mine the width of the towel + 2" X 2". 
Now press your two strips in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together....

I love to use little gingham checks, plaids & stripes for my binding. You can use anything at all, as long as it is good quality cotton fabric. Sometimes I cut my binding on the bias just because I like the look of it cut this way. Since there are no curves being bound, bias cut is not necessary.

Now I use wonder clips to clip my binding to the edges of my towel. Be sure to leave an inch of binding hanging off each end. Oh, and all of those fuzzy edges? don't worry about those for now.
Now head on over to the sewing machine. Sew the raw edges together. I use a 1/4" seam and a straight stitch.
Now that the woven edges are securely stitched down, you can go ahead and trim off all the fuzzy bits...
Now back to the ironing board. First, fold the extra inch on each end in and press
Now press your whole binding strip up flat...

then flip it to the back of the towel, hiding the raw edges and tucking those little bits on the end under neatly, press and clip again with the wonder clips...
Back to the sewing machine (we're getting our steps in here girls!) where you will stitch close to the folded edge of the binding...
And you're done. Look, you can barely see the stitch line on the front of your towel. It disappears right into the weaving...
I love the nice, neat finish this gives to my handwoven towels!








6 comments:

Mary Ellen said...

Thank you! I love your towels. I need to try the binding edge. Thanks for all the photos!

Ondrea said...

Your towel looks so lovely. I can't see myself ever weaving my own tea towels but your tutorial is fantastic.

Maria said...

Love seeing how you finished my gorgeous tea towel.Both Hubby and I love using it....

Carla Ensink said...

Thanks, Ellyn, for a great tutorial! I love your woven towels with the check binding.

Beccabeelime said...

Love the tutorial!

Chantal said...

Lovely Ellyn! It's a great tutorial too.