What is an eco-tawashi? Tawashis are a Japanese style of scrubbing brush for wet cleaning. They can be made of plastic, hemp, wire or any number of materials. I recently figured out how to make eco-tawashis which are made of 100% cotton and are absolutely brilliant for doing dishes. They are also good for cleaning kitchen benchtops or for using in the bath. The cotton tawashi can be used over and over again as it is machine washable. Just don’t put it in a tumble dryer! Don’t ask me how I know; it’s too embarrassing. Just air dry them…trust me.
The pattern is available for FREE from my Ravelry store – Long Dog Wool. There are two versions available – one in UK crochet terms and one in USA crochet terms.
They are surprisingly easy to make even for a beginner hooker as they only use a single crochet stitch (that’s double crochet in UK terms). The only slightly ‘non-beginner’ bit is that all stitches are made in the back loop rather than through the whole stitch. This is what gives them the ridges which help scrub things. If you don’t crochet into the back loop, they don’t turn out quite right.
All you need is cotton yarn, a 5mm crochet hook, a yarn needle and scissors. I absolutely love Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream Ombre yarn as it is the perfect thickness (12 ply) and the colours turn out beautifully on the spiral tawashi. I have used other cotton yarns that were thinner – if you do that there are a couple of tips that will help: Firstly, use two strands together not just one. It needs to be fairly thick to scrub well. Secondly, try two different colours together instead of two strands of the same colour. It gives it a more interesting visual appearance.
I purchased my yarn from Sew Darn Special in Ballarat which is a brilliant shop with super helpful staff. If you’re not local, then there are online places to order this from including Love Knitting. (As a side note, I do not get any payment at all for promoting shops or products. I’m just giving you honest, personal opinions and pointing out places I know you can get stuff. These are not ‘affiliate’ links.)
Besides using them in my own home, I made a number of these as Christmas presents for friends. Download the pattern here and have a go! Why not post photos of your Tawashi and comment on your experience making them here or on the Homemade by Bridget A Facebook page! Happy hooking!