My Favorite Things:

Viva Paper Towels


In traditional pysankarstvo, women would use rags–old, soft cloths–to dry their pysanky after a dye bath. These cloths themselves acquired the magical powers of the pysanka: a cloth used to wipe a pysanka could be used to treat skin infections (Voropay).

Nowadays people use a variety of “cloths” to dry pysanky. Some use toilet tissue--this is particularly popular in Ukraine, where the old Soviet style tissue is fairly strong but not too hard.  In the US most use paper towels.

I’ve used a variety of paper towels over the years.  For my classes I still use Costco brand paper towels, folded twice into a square (well, a rectangle). They tend to get drenched with dyes, and usually with a mix of colors.  I then let the towels dry out after class, and use them for wax removal.

One other disadvantage of most paper towels is that they have textured patterning.  I have seen these patterns “transferred” onto eggs, resulting in mottled dye coverage.  It doesn’t happen very often, but it can happen.

In my own studio, I use Viva towels.  I learned of these from Helen Badulak’s book, and became hooked once I began using them.  The towels are quite thick and soft; when wet, the stay strong and don’t fall apart.  They are more like cloth in texture and strength than paper.  I fold these twice into squares, and then use them over and over again. I keep a tall plastic waste basket under my dye table and toss the towels into it when they become wet; they dry out over time.  I then sort them by color, and reuse them.  I repeat this over and over.  The towels become softer with time......

Using Viva towels is a green solution, because once you’ve got a roll or two folded and being used, you don’t need to buy any more........possibly ever.  I haven’t had more than a handful wear out ever, and I’ve been using some of them since 2004!!!!!

  Strip Wax        Twist’n Loc Jars

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Soft and Gentle Drying Cloths