A friend of mine requested I make a set of table linens for her sister-in-law’s wedding gift.  She had just moved into a new house, and it took a terrible amount of espionage to come up with a color scheme we thought would work.  She had registered for some place mats, so we used that as a starting point and went for a combination of greens and purples.

Closeup of light green weft napkin

The napkins are 10/2 cotton, sett at 24 epi.  The finished measurement is 20″ square.

Closeup of purple weft napkin

I used a technique I read about in an old handwoven magazine, that suggested winding a warp with 6-8 colors alternating, then when threading, selecting randomly from each set of 6-8.  This method required a back to front loom dressing, which I’m really not set up to do.  So I just wound each color separately and warped front to back, alternating the 7 colors of the warp regularly (rather than randomly).  I think it turned out wonderfully.

Closeup of magenta weft napkin

It was something of a pain to warp the way I did, so I’d only recommend doing this back to front, but still, the results are great.  Every single color of weft thread that I used looked amazing, so I made the napkins in sets of two, and I even had enough warp left on the loom to make one extra as a breadwarmer.  Oh, can you tell by the photos that I love my bird napkin rings?

Closeup of black weft napkin

The table runner is also 10/2 cotton, striped randomly, but mirrored so it would be symmetrical.  I used a black 5/2 cotton for the weft to give it a little bit of weight.  Originally I thought I’d have a fringe, but I thought that the hemmed edge would continue to look nice and neat no matter how many times the set gets washed, so hemmed it was.

Closeup of table runner

I like the runner, but it’s not as fun as the napkins.  All together though, it makes for a very charming table setting.

Full table setting

6 Responses to Sam’s Wedding Linens

  • Heather says:

    This is an amazing set– has it been given, and if so did the recipient go nuts, or what?

    How old was that old issue of Handwoven? I can probably dig it up at my guild. I’ve never warped back to front either, but I do have a raddle around here somewhere.

    • Zinniz says:

      It has been given, and I’ve never heard how she reacted, so I’m guessing either the giver doesn’t know, or it was underwhelming. C’est la vie.

      The Handwoven issue was probably from 2008 or 2009. I don’t have it out still, so I’d have to search for it. The premise was really easy though–wind the warp with the 6 colors held together (no need for a thread by thread cross). After you’ve wound on, you’ll have bundles of 6 threads in your cross, and you can grab any color from that bundle as you thread the heddles (or grab them in order if you like patterns). They did this with 5/2 cotton to make place mats cheaply/easily to sell (as I recall). If you put on a really long warp, you could do several sets with different weft colors, so it makes sense for selling things.

  • Beautiful! I still want woven placemats, but I can’t afford them! Mostly because I need fourteen…

    • Zinniz says:

      Fourteen is a LOT of placemats. I made my sister a set of 6, and while they turned out quite lovely, they reinforce the fact that I don’t like to make a lot of the same thing.

      I can’t imagine having a table that seats that many! Ours seats 8 and it’s a trial to find enough chairs for everyone as it is.

  • Samantha says:

    Unfortunately the recipient is horribly behind at writing thank you notes…… but that gives her no excuse for not sending a quick message to express her gratitude! We DEFINITELY adore the linens and appreciate all of the time and love you put into them! All of the colors you chose are beautiful and fit in wonderfully with our current attempt at decor. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

    • Zinniz says:

      I’m so glad to hear you like them!! I remember the overwhelming feeling of having to do all those thank yous. It’s so hard to get through them.

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