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    Orkney Over Time

    February 21, 2019 2 min read

    If you've been a customer for even a short while, you're probably familiar with our Orkney, the fabric that started it all - rustic, raw linen with the appearance of old world homespun. The color and texture come direct from the flax fibre from which linen is made - a pure natural material that wears elegantly and authentically over time, softening and gaining in character.

    If you look closely at a swatch of new natural Orkney fabric, it can even have tiny pieces of unrefined flax in it, and it has a most pleasant, subtle scent too, like dried hay. Your pets pick up on this, they love lying on new linen, can’t get enough - you can see them breathing deeply! 

    Linen is made from flax: the plant is pulled up by the roots, soaked in water to soften and loosen the green content, then dried out, beaten and combed to separate the fine inner fibres. Finally, the long, softened fibres are spun into yarn. The process uses nothing but water, so when you buy natural, undyed linen, the color has not been modified in any way. Now that is natural!

    Natural Orkney is our signature linen, the one that recalls traditional homespun. Its gently rumpled texture makes you feel calm and relaxed just being near it.

    This is only the beginning - as you use your linen, and wash it, it softens down, becoming ever softer under your fingertips, and lighter in color.


    This photo shows Three Ages of Natural: first, a brand new Pinafore, washed once (which is how we sell them) to reveal its character and warm taupey color. 

    In the middle is one which has had about three years of wear, and you can see the color has lightened. Finally, my original Orkney natural pinafore, now silvery and still going strong after 7 years. Whenever I wear it, I think of my many-times-great grandmother and the flax she wove for her family, how different her life must have been, though perhaps our priorities are the same.

    Unique, all beautiful.

    2 Responses

    Karen Morris
    Karen Morris

    February 21, 2019

    I absolutely love my summer covers. I have the natural and the charcoal. I really wish you made one in chocolate brown.

    Ellen Deffenbaugh
    Ellen Deffenbaugh

    February 21, 2019

    For sure, Orkney ages well. My pinafores and napkins take quite a beating and get softer and softer. And two members of my Summer Cover collection, have gotten so soft, they’ve been retired and now work as sofa covers for the dogs, replaced by newer ones with the original rich texture.

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