These towels are handwoven in rural Romanian villages from locally grown, processed and spun hemp. The fabric is vintage and no longer being produced.
Towels come individually and are $24 per towel. We offer two patterns. One is a plain weave with a hemp warp and cotton weft. The second pattern is a hemp overshot, where the warp is hemp and the weft is hemp with a cotton overshot pattern, reminiscent of old American coverlet designs.
Hemp is the ancient “new” wonder fiber, and rightly so with production now legal in the United States. This is a huge win to create a more sustainable fiber source. It is considered among the first agricultural crops as traces of the fiber have been found and dated to 8000 BCE in China and Taiwan. The plant uses minimal water, is pest-resistant, and fast-growing. It is a nitrogen-fixing plant with a deep tap root that helps enrich and condition the soil. At harvest time, the stalks are cut, bundled and dried. The tough outer cortex is removed through a natural process called retting to break down the outside of the stalk. The fine inner fibers are collected, scoured, washed and sun bleached, and then spun into yarn.
Hemp possesses great strength, softness and durability, so it is the perfect fiber for a beautiful, long-wearing towel. Its weight and drape are similar to linen and the fabric softens and drapes with age and use. We use ours in the kitchen but they can also serve as a hand towel in the bath.
Our towels are a cotton/hemp blend and approximately 15×28 inches with machine hemmed edges and a hanging loop.
The overshot towels are approximately 15.5 x 30 inches with machine hemmed edges and a hanging loop. These designs are a combination of bleached and unbleached hemp for the overshot pattern, and cotton/hemp for the base fabric.