O to be in a Turkish bath…

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But it won’t be the case today in between double runs to the pool for swim team, geometry class, volunteering to finish some artwork.

Yesterday I read about ‘foutas,’ (pronounced fow-tas) which are lightweight, gauzy fabrics used in old Turkish bath houses in place of heavy terrycloth towels for their ease in drying quickly. They are made from lightweight 100% cotton with vibrant colors and a fringed knotted edge with ample sizes around 40+” by 72″. I thought what an ingenious delight to pack something so airy for the beach. In hindsight I wish I had noticed these at the bazaar years ago during my trip to Turkey. Fabric was one venue I didn’t invest enough time in perusing. I searched online through the handwoven designs and varied color patterns but changed my mind when I saw the price tag. These lovely linens are around $65 a piece.

I stopped by my local fabric store and picked up a linen cotton blend that is super soft and it hasn’t even been washed yet. It’s the ideal effect – very thin and light. I spent a whopping nine dollars on the two pieces that I had cut in 2 1/8 yard increments.

My version wouldn’t be handwoven but it would be hand unwoven. I started fraying the edges. If I wasn’t patient before I began this project I certainly will be now. It takes a huge amount if time to pull out the threads and I still haven’t finished. The threads break easily. I got into a rhythm and pulled from the center outward for a few strands, but got off kilter and the threads began splitting again.

I’ve frayed about 2″ and I’m hoping for about 3″. Below is a picture of the frayed edge with realistic light so you see the delicate design and at the bottom how I will knot along an entire edge once I’ve frayed to my heart’s content- photo darkened for contrast visibility. Afterward, it will be washed and packed for fun in the sun- a coverlet while napping at the beach under an umbrella, a shield from whipping sand, wiping blurry eyes free from sunscreen, or the most practical use of all – inspired by the Turkish bathhouse – drying off after a dip in the ocean.

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