Butterfly Kisses Towels ~ Why We Love 8/4 Cotton!

Posted by Jodi Ybarra on

Butterfly Kisses Towels

Why We Love 8/4 Cotton!

This month in our Yarn Exploration, we celebrate the versatility of 8/4 Cotton and its ability to elevate weaving projects to new heights of creativity. Choosing 8/4 cotton offers weavers a canvas brimming with potential!

Join us as we explore the boundless possibilities of weaving with 8/4 cotton, a beloved staple at Cotton Clouds.

Because we love 8/4 cotton so much, we have three different types to choose from! Each with distinct qualities and characteristics, but all wonderful to weave with.

8/4 Cotton Rug Warp is the quintessential workhorse of 8/4 cottons. It has remained a staple in the world of weaving, praised for its strength, durability, and softness, making it ideal for a wide range of textile projects, including towels and baby blankets. 

8/4 Cotton Rug Warp

8/4 Cotton Tail is a luxuriously soft yarn, perfect for creating a range of durably soft and cozy textiles. It's strong like other 8/4 cottons, but has a gentle feel against the skin and comes in a wonderful range of colors.

8/4 Cotton Tail 

8/4 Cloud Nine Cotton creates a dreamy texture, perfect for weaving soft towels and clothing. Elevate your crafting experience with this premium 8/4 cotton yarn that will wrap you in a cloud of comfort.

8/4 Cloud Nine Cotton


What Weight is 8/4 Cotton?

Some new weavers may be asking what does size 8/4 mean in yarn weight. The first number, 8 refers to the size of the yarn and the second number, 4 refers to how many plies.  So, an 8/4 size yarn is four strands of size 8 plied together. Handwoven's Master Yarn Chart is a wonderful resource explaining more about yarn weights.

In countries outside of the US, these numbers are sometimes reversed, but typically the smaller number is the number of plies in a yarn. If you see 4/8 cotton in Canada it will be the same as 8/4 cotton.


What's So Great About 8/4 Cotton?

There are several reasons why weavers and textile enthusiasts love working with 8/4 cotton.

  1. Versatility: 8/4 cotton yarns are versatile and suitable for a wide range of weaving projects, from towels and dishcloths to garments and home decor items. This versatility allows weavers to explore different techniques and create various types of textiles.

  2. Strength: Despite its softness, 8/4 cotton is known for its strength and durability. This makes it suitable for items that will undergo regular use and washing, ensuring longevity in the finished products.

  3. Ease of Use: 8/4 cotton yarns are generally easy to work with, making them ideal for both beginner and experienced weavers. Their smooth texture and consistent thickness make warping and weaving a breeze, allowing weavers to focus on their creativity rather than wrestling with difficult materials.

  4. Color Options: 8/4 cotton yarns come in a wide range of vibrant colors, allowing weavers to unleash their creativity and experiment with color combinations in their projects. Whether creating bold statement pieces or subtle, understated designs, there's a color option to suit every aesthetic.

  5. Softness: Cotton Tail and Cloud Nine Cotton, in particular, are prized for their exceptional softness, which adds an extra level of luxury to woven textiles. The softness of the yarn enhances the comfort and feel of the finished products, making them a pleasure to use and display.

Overall, these qualities make 8/4 cotton a beloved choice among weavers!


Let's Weave With 8/4 Cottons!

This month we are weaving a set of luxuriously soft and absorbent textured towels with our 8/4 Cotton Tail and 8/4 Cloud Nine Cottons. We know you will enjoy weaving with these cotton yarns as much as we do!  


Butterfly Kisses Towels

This pattern will include all the specifications you'll need to weave two towels on any size loom.  The pattern is written for a 24" loom, but we've given the alterations needed for a 15" or 20" weaving width.

These towels have a basic plain weave structure with a little pick-up stick technique thrown in. The little floats form little puckers which I am calling Butterfly Kisses. 

Gather Your Supplies!

Weave structure:  plain weave and texture weave
Equipment needed:  Rigid heddle or 4-shaft loom; 23.6” weaving width (or any size loom); 10 dent reed; 2 stick shuttles or two bobbins with a boat shuttle; 1 pick-up stick (if weaving on rigid heddle).
Warp Yarns: Cotton Tail 8/4 Cotton White 500 yds; Cloud Nine 8/4 Cotton light color 160 yds and dark color 160 yds.
Weft Yarns:  Cotton Tail 8/4 Cotton White 440 yds.
Total warp ends:  236 (178 single ends white/ 29 doubled ends dark color/ 29 doubled ends light color)
Warp length: 2 ¾ yds (99”)
Setts: 10 epi (Cotton Tail White single/Cloud Nine Cottons doubled); 11 ppi
Finished Dimensions: 18” x 25” hemmed
Other supplies: matching sewing thread for hems
Available as a kit from Cotton Clouds, Inc.



Rigid Heddle Instructions 

Step 1:  Warping the Loom
You will only be warping in the slots.

The Cotton Tail White will have two threads in the slots. (2 threads per slot)
The Cloud Nine Cotton will have two threads dark and two threads light in the same slot. (4 threads per slot)

Set up your loom to direct warp a length of 2 ¾ yards (99”).  Wind the warp following the warp order diagram for a 24" weaving width. 

First four slots - 2 threads each white (8 threads)
Next slot - two dark and two light colored threads (4 threads)
Next three slots - two threads each white (6 threads)
Next slot - two dark and two light colored threads (4 threads)
Continue until you’ve threaded 236 threads or the width you want to achieve. You can reduce the number of repeats to accommodate a different size loom.

Step 2:  Sleying the Reed
Wind the warp onto the back beam and then transfer ONE white thread from each slot into the holes and TWO light colored threads to the holes.  All the dark colored threads will stay in the slots. The white threads will be in both slots and holes.  Tie the yarns onto the front apron rod in small sections and tighten your warp.
Step 3:  Preparing the Shuttles
Wind one shuttle with Cotton Tail White and second shuttle with thinner Aurora Earth 8/2 cotton white for hems. 

Step 4:  Charging the Pick-Up Stick
With the heddle in the down position and working behind the reed, place your stick in the following sequence.
6 up (4 white, 1 doubled color, 1 white on top of stick)
*1 down, 3 up*, repeat from * 27 times until you reach the last 6 threads. 
Place these last 6 threads up (on top of stick).
Note: Remember that the colored threads are doubled ends and count as one end.

Step 5:  Weaving
Weave with scrap yarn to spread the warp evenly. 

With thinner 8/2 cotton weave 20 picks for the hem.

Change to shuttle with Cotton Tail White and weave 8 picks in plain weave. Continue weaving in the 8 step pick-up sequence for 30”. You will want to end in 9 plain weave picks so both ends of your towel will look the same.

Change to shuttle with thinner 8/2 cotton and weave 20 picks for the hem.  

Weave a few rows of a scrap yarn then start next towel. Always be sure to weave a hem at the start and finish of each towel.  When you have finished weaving your towels, weave a few rows with scrap yarn before cutting yarns off loom.


Step 6:  Finishing & Hemming
Remove the towels from the loom and sew a straight stitch across each end with sewing thread before cutting apart.  Using a hot iron, fold each hem over twice to get a nice flat edge.  Sew a straight stitch across securing each hem.  Machine wash and dry.  Press with a warm iron if needed.  Towels will relax with more washes.


4-Shaft Loom Instructions

Winding the Warp
Wind a warp 2 ¾ yds (99”) of 232 threads (178 single ends white/ 27 doubled ends dark color/ 27 doubled ends light color following the Warp Color Order Chart.


Step 2: Dressing the Loom

Warp your loom using your preferred method (front to back or back to front).

Sley the reed with one thread per slot with the white and two threads per slot with the colored yarns. Thread the heddles with one thread white and two threads colored yarns in each heddle.

The first 8 white threads will be threaded in heddles 1 and 2.
Then we will start the repeats.
*Heddle 1 for a doubled light thread, then heddle 2 for a doubled dark thread.
Then for the next 6 white threads it is threaded 1-2-3-2-1-2*

*Heddle 1 - doubled light
Heddle 2 - double dark
Heddle 1 - white
Heddle 2 - white
Heddle 3 - white
Heddle 2 - white
Heddle 1 - white
Heddle 2 - white*

Repeat * to * until the last 8 white threads and thread these on heddles 1 and 2.


Winding the Bobbins

Wind one bobbin with 8/2 cotton white for hems and another with 8/4 cotton for the body of the towels. 


Weave with scrap yarn to spread the warp evenly.
20 pics in plain weave with 8/2 cotton for hem.
Change to 8/4 Cotton, weaving for 30” or preferred length in the following pattern repeat.
Pattern repeat for 30”
Lift 1 & 3
Lift 2 & 3
Lift 1 & 3
Lift 2
Lift 1 & 3
Lift 2
Lift 1 & 3
Lift 2

Finish with 20 pics in plain weave with 8/2 cotton for hem.

Weave two picks in an alternate colored yarn to mark the end of towel 1, then weave your second towel.

Finishing & Hemming
Remove the fabric from the loom and sew a straight stitch across each end with sewing thread before cutting apart.  Using a hot iron, fold each hem over twice to get a nice flat edge.  Sew a straight stitch across securing each hem.  Machine wash and dry.  Press with a warm iron if needed.  Towels will relax with more washes.


Butterfly Kisses Towel Kit

We've made it easy for you to weave your very own Butterfly Kisses Towels with our soft, luxurious 8/4 cottons from Cotton Clouds!

Each kit comes with the yarns to weave two generously sized towels on a 24" loom.  We have three color options to choose from.  Weave a set in Blush for Valentines Day, Sunshine for the sunny days ahead, or Bluebell to add a peaceful touch of blue to your home!

I hope you enjoy your 100% cotton towels!  

Jodi Ybarra
Cotton Clouds, Inc


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