Curated article on the hand woven pot holder and its history. Includes videos showing how to get accustomed to a basic potholder loom kit, potholder loops and lace edged variations, and other pot holder loom details:
By Sergey Brinchok
Pot holders have been in use for a long time to protect surfaces against hot kitchenware or to hold pots in order to avoid burns. Weaving them is a unique craft with a rich history. Long years ago, when holders made of silicone were nowhere to be seen, women weaved them at home with scrapes of old clothes using colorful patches and their imagination and creativity. These homemade pot holders were found in handfuls in every household and were considered to be the cook’s best friend and protector.
However, with the advancement of world of technology, silicone polymers were introduced which were used to make more durable and efficient holders in factories. Nowadays, these items rule the markets and their affordability makes them a better choice over the conventional homemade ones. So, what shall be done with the old, useless pot holders that your grandmother or great grandmother gifted your Mom? If you do not know, these make for brilliant antiques for your rooms. You can use vintage holders to give them a homey and rustic look. These holders can be decorated on walls, racks, shelves, etc as an integral part of the interior decor. Here’s how you should go with the decoration.
Firstly, prepare a background for displaying your antiques. If it’s a wall, clean and finish its surface and select a neutral hue such that it does not over-power the colors and patterns of the holder. Some good neutral hues would be cream, stone gray, sand, pale yellow, faded blue or rosy gray. You may also finish the wall in brick or stone before the display.
Next, clean and refresh your antique pot holders. You may spot clean the tougher textiles with a mild detergent, may be Woolite and some warm water, or just apply a cotton swab with a solution of vinegar and warm water mixed in the ratio of 1:3 on the spots and stains to remove them easily. You should hand the pot holders on a clothesline which is hung in indirect sunlight to refresh them.
Now, it is time to attach the hanging hardware to the surface. A bold look would come from wrought iron pot racks, knobs or hooks whereas a cleaner, modern effect can be implied by blond wood or white ceramic furnishes applied on knobs and hooks. To support a floating wall shelf on a brick or stone wall, you must hand a wooden mantel or you could attach brackets there. You may also use drill bits for attaching the hanging hardware to the wall or the floating shelf or mantel to wooden surface near the stone or brick wall. Next, add few hooks to the mantels or shelves for hanging your antiques.
Now you can showcase your lovely antique pot holders. However, you are free to consider other options than hanging them. You may line them in an open shelf or a flat surface; display them in wide trays with low depths or baskets or even make them peep out of dishware. It’s all up to your creative mind.
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