A finishing transformation

28 February 2015


I brought two pieces of this cloth back with me from Oaxaca.  Señor Esteban, of the Taller Sabino & Vásquez made these on his floor loom with a fly shuttle.  The warp is a fine cotton, maybe 40/2, natural.  The colored weft is a heavier singles used doubled.  The bands are overshot.  It looks to me like these pieces were just cut off the loom and a light colored zigzag stitch was sewn across the ends.

The light color of the thread used to sew across calls attention to the wefts below it that are drifting downwards.  The warp selvages are denser than the body of the cloth making the selvages look whiter and drawing attention to every bright pink irregularity.  I think that is about all you see in this piece, I have a hard time seeing the hand woven cloth because of all these distractions.   So I decided to finish these pieces so that they could be on a table, say under a vase of flowers.  That means that I want them to lay flat and that if I set something on them , like a glass, the glass won’t fall over  because of the cloth.  No lumpy bumpy finishing.

First I tried knotting the fringe but it is just too wimpy to look good. I only like fringe that lays orderly and this never will.  So I cut it off with the serger.  I also cut off the warp selvages so that all four sides are the same.


All edges have been serged with natural colored thread.


Not that this is finished but I think it already looks a lot better, even with it serger tails.   Then I turned under the serged edge and machine basted it in place with matching thread.  The top side looks tidier, on the back side you can see the serged edge.  This would make an acceptable finish or you could turn it under one more time and machine stitch again.  I would make the second turn wider to keep the edge from being narrow and three layers thick.


But I think that I will add a crochet edging around the piece.  I have #10 crochet cotton that matches the color of the natural warp and a penetrating crochet hook to make a base row of single crochet.  The turned under hem makes for a substantial edge to anchor the crochet stitches and helps to align the penetrating stitch.  On the back it covers the serged edge.  The trick is to get the right number of stitches in the base row so that the cloth lays flat.  Too few stitches and the edge pulls in the cloth and makes it buckle and too many stitches and the edging ruffles a bit.

Then I tried several edgings, all flat.  The geometric one is nice but maybe too wide so I decided on the triple picot  one.  I just want to finish the piece not add a lace edging.

crochet edge geometricIMG_3235


The time consuming part is the first row, then it goes quickly.  IMG_3247

So here I have finished all the crochet but not yet washed and ironed it. The washing compacted the crochet.  The overshot bands pulled in too making inward curves  but while ironing I managed to stretch them back out.  So the finished piece is here:


The blue piece got an even smaller edging, just a simple picot.


The colors are cheery, a way to add a bright spot in this grey cold weather.  The first color is called rosa mexicana, that that one I’m keeping.

Quite a transformation, at least to me.




One Response to “A finishing transformation”

  1. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.


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