Hand Towel


Crash Toweling. (Chap. I, Par. 44).

1/2 yard crash toweling.

4 1/2" white cotton tape, 3/8" or 1/2" wide.

White thread No. 70.

Needle No. 8.

Introductory Statement

There are a great many different kinds of hand towels, but plain or fancy, they are all used for the same general purpose, that is, to dry the hands and face. A towel should be made to suit the particular purpose for which it is intended. Crash toweling is generally used for towels which receive hard wear, such as the kitchen towel, while huckaback or damask linen is more often selected for the finer towels used in the bedroom or bathroom.

The material suggested for the towel in this lesson has a smooth finish that does not leave lint and is used, as a rule, for drying fine china and glassware. It is also frequently used for the hand towel which hangs on the apron band. It is a particularly suitable material for beginning problems in sewing because the stripes serve as a guide in turning the hem.

Although this is the kind of towel generally used in a school kitchen, it will also be found very convenient for home use.


Linen, How We Are Clothed, Chamberlain. Linen, How It Grows, National Flax Fiber Co. Linen, Journal of Education, Vol. XLV, p. 177.

Suggestions For Optional Modification

Suggestions For Optional Modification 11

Roller Towel

No. 1. This roller towel is made of 2 1/2 yards of linen crash toweling. The raw edges of the towel are joined with a felled seam.

While the roller towel has been condemned for public use, because of its being unsanitary, it is still used for a kitchen towel in many homes.

Kitchen Towel

No. 2. This kitchen towel may be made of linen crash toweling, 1 yard long. The hems on the ends are stitched with the sewing machine. The initial is worked with the outline etching stitch in a color to match the border on the towel.

Hand Towel

No. 3. This hand towel may conveniently be made from 1/2 yard crash or huckaback. It is to be buttoned on an apron band, or hung on a hook in the lavatory or bathroom. The cross-stitch initial is worked inside of a cross-stitch wreath.

Working Directions For Hand Towel

Preparing Material

Straighten one end of the material by drawing a thread and cutting on the line (Chap. II, Par. 102). Measure down one of the edges 18 inches (one-half yard), the length of the towel, and draw a thread. Cut on line.

To Hem The Towel

The narrow overhand hem used on this towel is called the French hem (Chap. II, Par. 119); it is the same kind of hem used in finishing the ends of table cloths and napkins. Because it is so commonly used you should learn to do it well. For the first turning of the hem, fold over one end of the towel about 1/4", keeping it even with a thread; crease firmly with the thumb. For the second turning of the hem fold the same end of the towel over again 1/4" toward the same side that you turned the raw edge and crease again firmly. If the toweling is very stiff, it will not be necessary to baste this hem in place as it will stay creased without the basting, but if it does not stay creased well, baste carefully along the edge of the hem with even basting (Chap. II, Par. 103).

Turn the hem thus formed back on the opposite side of the towel and crease firmly, making the edge of the hem and a thread in the body of the towel lie together in a parallel line. Knot the thread and slip the needle through the hem at the beginning, then overhand (Chap. II, Par. 111) the two edges together, being careful to take small, shallow stitches. Fasten the thread securely at the end of the hem by sewing over the last stitch two or three times. With the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, press the hem flat. Overhand each of the open ends of the hem. Finish the other end of the towel in the same manner.

Sewing On The Tape

As this is a small hand towel, it is supposed to be hung from the band of the apron where it will be convenient for use. It is to be suspended with a loop of tape which may be formed and sewed on in either of the following ways:

Forming The Loop

(First Method)

Take a piece of cotton tape about 1/4" wide and 4" long. Fold over the raw edges at each end about 1/4", turning them both to the same side; then lay the two ends together with the raw edges turned under. Lay them on the wrong side of one corner of the towel, allowing them to lap over the corner of the towel about 1/2". Baste carefully in place with even basting (Chap. II, Par. 103) being careful to keep the ends and edges of the tape even. Hem down on one side (Chap. II, Par. 114) across the bottom, and up the other side of the tapes, fastening them firmly to the towel. To secure the tape to the towel at the corner, turn the towel toward you and hem around the corner of the towel where it crosses the tape. If desired the tape may be secured more firmly to the towel by making two parallel rows of backstitching (Chap. II, Par. 107) across the ends. The band of the apron is slipped through this loop before being buttoned.

Forming The Loop. (Second Method)

Fold over the two raw edges of the tape 1/4" on each end, turning them both toward the same side of the tape. Place the two ends side by side( not over each other), making the opposite closed end of the tape a V shape. This will make two edges of the tape lie together in parallel lines. This line is to form the loop which is to serve as a buttonhole, but you will notice that it is longer than necessary to receive a button. It also needs to be fastened in order to keep it in shape. In fastening these two parallel edges of the tape, some space must be left for the button. Beginning next to the towel overhand the adjoining edges of the tape together about 1/2", then leaving a half-inch space unsewed to form the opening for the button, overhand the edges together to the top of the V shaped loop; fasten the threads carefully and flatten the tapes then hem across the piece of tape that forms the wide part of the V.

To fasten the tape to the towel, lay it on one corner, on the wrong side of the towel and with the raw edges turned under, hem it down one edge, across the bottom and up the other edge, then turning the towel toward you, hem (Chap. II, Par. 114) around the corner of the towel.