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Linen towels for travel

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  • Walker
    replied
    Awesome education, @BWeaves. LOVE! I was going to respond to @mausermama that I knew there was a reason why the linen cloth remnant I bought off JoAnn's is cheap and why the linen towel set I bought off Amazon was heavily discounted. Nonetheless, I am happy with them for the purpose I use them.

    In the future, I will treat myself to a wet spun line linen towel. But that day is in the distant future since I now have more towels than I can use.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk

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  • BWeaves
    replied
    Just a bit more information.

    Hemp (not the kind you smoke) is also a good fiber for towels. It's grown for its stems, not its leaves, and the leaves do not contain the illegal stuff. Hemp is a little more rustic looking than linen. Not as fine. But it dries quickly and does not mildew. It was used for sails and ropes for boats for centuries. I often mix hemp and linen yarns in my handwoven towels.

    Bamboo yarn and fabric is rayon made from bamboo. It is not a bast fiber like linen and hemp. Old style bamboo yarns made from the actual bast fibers is very stiff and disappeared off the market years ago, because nobody liked the feel of it. It was replaced by rayon made from dissolved bamboo that was extruded into spaghetti like yarn. I do not like bamboo rayon fabric. I find it does not work as advertised. That's why most bamboo fabrics now have to say their content is "rayon from bamboo" instead of just "bamboo."

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  • kathryn
    replied
    Originally posted by BWeaves View Post
    Line linen looks like long blond hair, which is why princesses in fairy tales always had long flaxen locks.
    Little children with short blond hair are called tow headed, because their hair looks like tow linen.
    Etymology lesson over my morning coffee and perusal of the forums--I LOVE it. Thanks @BWeaves for all the great info.

    Leave a comment:


  • BWeaves
    replied
    Cristina:

    I can kind of tell from the photos that the first towels are loosely woven and fuzzy, so I would expect lint.
    Your second two are tightly woven with smooth surfaces and look like line linen. I would not expect lint off them.

    If these are handwoven, you can ask the etsy seller if they used line or two, and wetspun or dryspun.

    ----------------------

    When buying yarn, I don't buy it unless it specifies if it is line or tow.

    Also, linen can be wet spun or dry spun. Wet spun slicks the fibers down, and dry spun doesn't, so the yarn is hairy.

    Unless the cloth manufacturer states on the bolt of cloth if it is line or tow, or wet spun or dry spun, you won't know until you wash it.

    Sometimes you tell by the look or feel if the fabric is smooth or linty. Rub it slightly between slightly damp fingers and see if lint sticks to your fingers. That may not be perfect proof, but if you do get lint on your fingers, run away.

    And you can sort of tell by the price. Expensive linen should be wet spun line linen. Cheap linen is usually dry spun tow. You certainly might get lucky and get line linen on sale, but generally speaking the inexpensive stuff is usually tow they are trying to get rid of.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 10-04-2017, 06:02 AM.

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  • Cristina
    replied
    Thanks, how interesting to know where tow-headed and flaxen-haired came from!

    Other than price, how can one tell if linen is line or tow, when buying online? I have never seen that distinction before.

    I have had a bit of lint off of this one (I think it did settle down after 4 washes or so)
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/5045...n-natural-grey

    But I never had any off of these ones:
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2095...wel-mint-green
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2109...ned-pre-washed

    I love my linen towels, they are wonderful to use and since I usually line-dry my laundry I am grateful for their quick drying properties.

    Leave a comment:


  • BWeaves
    replied
    There's 2 kinds of linen: Line and tow (pronounced like "toe").

    Linen grows as the flax plant and is about 1 yard tall. The flax plant is pulled up by its roots and laid down to ret in the wet grass or submerged in running water for several weeks. Ret is a nice word for rot. Then the stalks are propped up to dry. Once dry, the stalks are scutched (scraped with a wooden sword) to get the rotted outside "bark" off of the inner fibers. Then the 1 yard long fibers are hackled (combed) to remove all the short fibers.

    When the flax is spun into yarn it is called linen. Lin seeds come from the flax plant. Linseed oil comes from squishing lin seeds.

    The 1 yard long fibers are called line linen.
    The short fibers (1 to 2 inches or less) that are combed out are called tow linen.

    Line linen looks like long blond hair, which is why princesses in fairy tales always had long flaxen locks.
    Little children with short blond hair are called tow headed, because their hair looks like tow linen.

    The point to all this is:

    If your linen fabric is woven from line linen it will never have lint. This is what you want for drying glassware and dishes, and yourself.

    If your linen fabric is woven from tow linen it will shed like a dog. This is what you make burlap sacks out of.


    Tow linen is cheap for a reason. Line linen is expensive. There is a considerable difference. Line linen has fibers that are 1 yard long, and so will never work their way out of the fabric or shed. Tow linen is very short, like one inch or less, and will work its way out of your fabric every time its washed, and even when you try to dry something, the lint will stick to everything.

    I'm a hand weaver, and I've only woven with tow once, and never again. My entire washing machine and dryer was covered in shredded tow. Every towel I've woven from line linen is perfect from day one. No lint ever. Line linen is worth the extra expense.

    Also, linen can be wetspun or dryspun. Spinning the flax wet will slick down the fibers and make a smooth linen yarn. Spinning the flax dry means the ends stick out and you get a fuzzy, rough looking yarn. I prefer wet spun linen. Dry spun means the fibers in tow will definitely shed.

    I love, love, love my line linen towels. They suck up moisture better than any cotton towel and they dry quickly. After using linen towels, cotton towels just feel like they move water around as opposed to sucking it up and actually drying things.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 10-04-2017, 06:04 AM.

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  • Mausermama
    replied
    Yes, those florals are gorgeous, @Walker. I only purchased solid colors (lavender and natural).

    Before I sewed the edges, I "trued" the fabric by pulling on a thread along each edge. Following the thread that was pulled, I trimmed the fabric. Once everything was nice and square, I rolled the edges, pressing them with my iron and then sewed the seams and corners.

    Perhaps because of that, I really haven't had much lint at all? Linen fabric has a wider weave than many others because of the nature of the bast fibers. As a result it tends to ravel quite easily. I only noticed a lot of lint when I washed my initial fabric to pre-shrink it before I started the sewing. I love how quickly my towel dries. I also feel that it does an overall better job of drying me off than my thick "hotel cotton" towels.

    Leave a comment:


  • Walker
    replied
    Wow, those prints, are pretty, @mausermama!

    I bought a linen towel set (1 bath and 2 hand towels) off Amazon for about $25 (it was on sale) - made in Lithuania. I am happy with them.

    So when I saw a piece of remnant 100% linen, made in the USA (per the label) in the clearance bin at my local Joann Fabric store, I bought it. I paid around $25, including tax (the store had a 50% sale on everything, including clearance) for 6-1/2 or so yards of cloth - 56 inches wide. I made 6 towels out of it. I did not sew/ trim the selvedge edges.

    However, when I washed the towels I "made", the amount of lint generated in the washing machine and dryer was unbelievable. I literally had to clean the lint off the washing machine - it was a LOT. I washed/ dried the 6 towels 3x before using them. The amount of lint decreased each time, the cloth also got softer.

    The linen towels I bought off Amazon still generate lint so, I am careful to NOT wash them with other items that are lint magnets.

    The lint they generate decreases each time I wash/ dry them. But I am not sure that the lint will ever go away.

    Still, I do like my linen towels, now that I got used to them. They dry fast, so they do not get that damp smell that the regular thick towels do.

    I must, however, say I do appreciate the feel of thick towels, whenever I get to use them (when I have reason to stay at a hotel).

    As for carrying a linen towel during travels, I do bring my 3 linen handtowels on trips, depending on where I am going and where I stay.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk

    Leave a comment:


  • Mausermama
    replied
    Originally posted by ThomGault View Post
    Sorry to bring back this old thread...but I was wondering if anyone has found any good, economical US sources for linen towels (and hopefully matching washcloths)? There are just so many options, its confounding. Is the $60 towel from Outlier (which a few sources have recommended) both good quality and good price for the product?
    I ended up purchasing 100% linen fabric from fabric.com and sewed up my own. I use it every day. I have another length of fabric that I want to do up as well. I just need to get the time to do it. It was very easy to do. It's all just straight seams along with the four mitered corners. I watched a YouTube tutorial on how to sew up the corners and was off. All told I believe it took me less than an hour from start to finish. I invested perhaps $25.00 in material (whatever it was to get the free shipping), and when I've got the other length sewn up, I'll have two towels to hold me for years to come.

    ETA: Here's a link if you're interested: https://www.fabric.com/find?fiber-co...archText=Linen
    Last edited by Mausermama; 10-03-2017, 04:42 AM.

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  • Cristina
    replied
    Linen towels for travel

    Linen towels are amazing and you can get them in various Etsy shops, most of which will be based in Lithuania. I have several in various sizes from Linen World on Etsy and I do take at least one on holiday with me. They dry fast and are nice to use. I have waffle weave and plain, in sizes from kitchen towel (makes a good hair towel!) to bath sheet (for at home every day). I wouldn't be without them now.

    The shop I have used:
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LinenWorld

    The categorisation is not perfect, as there are some great kitchen towels in the bathroom towel section.

    My favourite one: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2109...ned-pre-washed

    But I also love the waffle weave in the bath sheet size and use the waffle weave as my main towels: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2364...owel-in-waffle

    Hope this helps! There are other linen shops too, this is just the one I use.
    Last edited by Cristina; 10-03-2017, 04:28 AM. Reason: Edited to remove whinging

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  • ThomGault
    replied
    Sorry to bring back this old thread...but I was wondering if anyone has found any good, economical US sources for linen towels (and hopefully matching washcloths)? There are just so many options, its confounding. Is the $60 towel from Outlier (which a few sources have recommended) both good quality and good price for the product?

    Leave a comment:


  • missilebird
    replied
    Originally posted by Ilkyway View Post
    After Ceepee has introduced me to this kind of towles @fedlet has linked, I use thouse too. Love them for all that they are: large but very packable, fast drying and so chearfull in colors.
    I can even see me wearing one as a big scalf should I get cold and have nothing else to layer at hand. (I always ALWAYS) have a towle AND know where it is ;-)

    Ilkyway
    Ilkyway, just curious if you have tried these as scarves, because my first thought upon clicking the link was 'Ooh, those would make great scarves!' Always good to have multipurpose items when traveling, I think.

    Leave a comment:


  • willo
    replied
    Originally posted by Kirri View Post
    Just curious: Do you know of anywhere to get bamboo fabric? I use bamboo sheets but they wear out fairly fast and are so expensive. I'd like to make my own. I also want bamboo knit for clothing but haven't found that anywhere either.

    How wonderful that you make historical costumes! I've never done it but I follow a number of blogs of people who do, in particular the amazing Dreamstress, from New Zealand.
    Kirri--

    I didn't see this until recently when I was dreaming of new Tom Bihn bags and came by the site for a visit.

    I've bought silk fabric yardage from Dharma Trading Co in the past, and they have bamboo. I've not bought any rayon yardage, but my kids LOVED the bamboo socks Dharma sells for dyeing.
    Bamboo Rayon Fabrics

    Dharma is mostly a supplier for tie dyers and fabric artists, but they're an awesome resource for anyone who loves silk. They've got the best prices for silk that I've found and their customer service is good and solid. They are more eco-conscious than slick in their presentation, but everything (liquids, fabrics, chemical powders) arrives safely and in good condition.

    And my historical sewing is nothing like the fabulous work of the great seamstresses one finds online. I'm proud of my small hand stitches, but I mostly sew early period garments made up with lots of straight seams.

    --willo

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  • sarahlin
    replied
    Originally posted by ijustdontknow View Post
    I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd share for those still seeking options.

    I ordered 2 waffle weave 100% linen washcloths from Fog Linen Pod | Shop Fog Linen

    We haven't used them yet and just washed them for the first time. They were accidentally thrown into the dryer and shrunk by about 20%, but they are so soft now. Other than the shrinkage, they appear to be of very high quality material and workmanship.
    Once wet, they should return to normal size. I have some linen washcloths from Evan Healy that do the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • ijustdontknow
    replied
    I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd share for those still seeking options.

    I ordered 2 waffle weave 100% linen washcloths from Fog Linen Pod | Shop Fog Linen

    We haven't used them yet and just washed them for the first time. They were accidentally thrown into the dryer and shrunk by about 20%, but they are so soft now. Other than the shrinkage, they appear to be of very high quality material and workmanship.
    Last edited by ijustdontknow; 07-17-2016, 03:28 PM.

    Leave a comment:

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