We sometimes get questions regarding the difference between our selvedge process and that of other textiles. Recently we received this customer question:
I just purchased a head towel in the red and natural stripe. On the edge of one end the selvedge is reinforced by what appears red hand stitching along the edge. The other end is the regular selvedge that is the same as on another "hand" towel of the same red/natural weave I have been using for years. The older towel I have does not have that "hand stitching" along the selvedge...I have had such a lovely experience with my older towel that I just want to be sure about my new one.
Many of our products - including our linen towels - have hand stitched hems or edges. Others have a selvedge created through our unique looming process. We use antique shuttle looms, which hammer the shuttle and hold the bobbin wrapped with fill yarn back and forth. This towel, in particular, has two types of fill yarn: natural and red. (This is what gives the towel a beautiful, thick striping look.)
The shuttle holding the natural fill bobbin goes back and forth a few times, before a different shuttle holding the red yarn bobbin goes, and so on. While the natural bobbin runs, the red fill waits its turn. As this happens, the red fill is carried up the selvedge and resumes its run where the natural fill left off. The same goes for the natural fill.
(Our kitchen and hand towels are different, as they are hemmed on all four sides.)
The beauty of the natural selvedge is certainly the differentiating factor between our looms and the modern, high speed looms!
By Brahms Mount