Embroidered Huck Towels harken back to the days when women transformed common everyday objects into pieces of art with needle and thread.
Kitchen towels were stitched with pride – and usually put away for use only on “special occasions.”
Stitching huck toweling designs (also called Swedish Weaving) is very simple – embroidery floss or crochet cotton is drawn under raised threads occurring on the fabric.
Cotton Huck Toweling has these raised threads. One side has vertical raised threads – the opposite side has horizontal raised threads. The above design was stitched through vertical threads.
There are designs and instructions available commercially. Mildred Krieg’s 1930’s booklets are considered by many to be the original reference. These books can still be found on ebay and Etsy.
However, just picking up needle and thread and beginning to stitch the threads can create beautiful original designs.
The Arizona Mountains design resulted from a two step process. The original design fell a bit short of the desired effect. Infilling additional rows of thread created the desired effect.
I pulled Huck Toweling from The Stash, but it is available at most fabric stores. It seems to run about $5.00 per yard – and 3/4 yard (27″) is just about right for one kitchen towel.
The Stash also provided the embroidery thread. I used three strands, but if a stronger color statement is desired, four or six strands will work.
The Embarrassing Embroidery Thread Stash has been amassing itself for more than 4 decades! But, it is usually successful at providing most any color for most any project!
Because of the ease and the low cost of attempting a project, Huck Embroidery is a great first try stitching project. My children stitched many towels for Grandma presents when they were quite young.
The diagram shows a simple Huck Design and illustrates how the colored threads simply pass underneath the raised vertical thread of the Huck Toweling fabric.
While Huck Embroidery in a single thread color is beautiful, part of the fun of Huck Towel Embroidery is the interplay of the tread colors. As illustrated in the Waves with Lace Edge Design Detail, color gradations look very different in the longer vertical stitches than in the shorter horizontal ones.
One aspect of these Huck Embroidered Towels that will vary from those created by our foremothers – they will be used. Not just on special occasions – but for everyday – and often!
These towels will not be stored in a drawer to be saved for a special occasion. They will be used to dry dishes – to wipe up spills – and hung on the oven handle to dry – maybe they will help make everyday a special occasion!