Tricia's Rough Linen September 2016 Newsletter

September 08, 2016

TRANSITIONAL CURTAINS
September is my favorite month, hands down. Why?

Summer is wonderful, but I feel more like an adult in autumn and welcome the transition to spending more time indoors - curtains drawn, making my favourite soups and bread, and snuggling up in an easy chair with a cosy blanket and a good book.
 
As the days grow shorter and cooler I look forward to wearing heavier fabrics and richer tones - a shift that extends to my rooms as well. This fall, we’re making curtains in rich fall colours – Charcoal, Indigo, and Black – for those of you who want to make a statement.

Light, breezy curtains are perfect for summer but autumn calls for something with more weight. Darker, more opaque curtains not only make a room feel warm and cosy in the cooler months, but they provide more privacy as you spend the darker evenings indoors, with the lights on.
 
Our Orkney fabric is substantial, yet still has the beautiful drape that curtains ought to have - lending an element of understated luxury to any room. There is no substitute for this natural fiber with its movement and texture.
Charcoal is a handsome neutral option, and a little softer than black.
If privacy is an issue, a double layer option is essential. Sheer Myriad curtains filter the view in the daytime, but you need a heavier curtain to pull closed at night, to shut out lights from outside or a low full moon, and give that lovely secure feeling of enclosure.  Not to mention the two together look so elegant, finished.
Celebrating Selvedges
What is a selvedge?  Why are we talking about it, and why do I like it so much?
Selvedge - 'self-edge' - is the border of the fabric where the weft turns around as goes back to form the next row, usually with the first few lines of the warp (the threads which run lengthwise) fortified. This is the time-honoured way of weaving - very strong.

Some of our products feature the selvedge as a design element, but from time to time we get questions about it – people assume it is defective or accidental. Au contraire! It is absolutely intentional, and I want to celebrate it, and share its purpose and appeal.
 
I feel it is almost a signature of this kind of linen. I use this strong selvedge when I can, in pinafores and in bath towels, where there is a symmetry to it. 

Our Orkney is woven on traditional looms, quite old ones, to ensure the wonderful texture. I have seen plenty woven on more modern looms, and while there are advantages, the fabric lacks character, to my eye and touch. Another tell-tale is the lack of a true selvedge, instead the weft is clipped at the edge and a chain stitch is run up the side to stop the whole thing unravelling.  I don't like it at all.

Some of my Orkney natural has one single red thread in the selvedges, but I notice the mill has strayed from that, which saddens me as colour variations in the selvedge can be a code - look at this denim!
Selvedge patterns and colours are entirely variable and can look completely different from one batch of fabric to the next. To me, these edges are a unique detail that may not occur again in exactly that way - and I love that, and love to show it off. That said, I realize that despite my own affinity for selvedge, some of you may still prefer items without, and we are perfectly happy to accommodate those requests as well.

It's fun to be a textile nerd!
YANKEE DOODLE DANDEE
Friends, guess what?
Yep, I'm an American citizen now!
Yankee Doodle went to town
A-riding on a pony
I will never again be the villain in the 4th of July Parade!  And maybe now as an American I should call autumn "fall" and spell colour - "color"
but
Depp-oh as Dee-po - 
I can't do it!  no way, José.