I found this homespun, hand-sewn linen pillowslip while I was clearing my grandmother's cottage in Scotland. It was made by her great-grandmother in about 1840, and was in regular use for three generations. When it came to me I used it to store lavender. Years later, by good fortune, I found a natural linen with the same wonderful homespun texture and feel, and I decided to make bedding in this simple, elemental tradition. I call it Orkney.
Orkney natural is the cornerstone of Rough Linen™. It has the traditional texture and color of homespun domestic European linen – I suspect the mill I use has very old looms for I haven't found this exact texture anywhere else. It is the strongest linen I use, for bedding, tablecloths, napkins, towels, pinafores and curtains.
I am always looking for definitive texture, or weave, or color, the essence of any material or yarn I find. When I discovered this linen I recognized its beauty immediately, and as I work with it I appreciate its virtues more and more: its luster, easy care, stability, strength, straight grain, and wonderful texture.
I cut to the thread for accuracy and fold the fabric as precisely as origami before sewing so our minimal seaming is exact.
Gutermann thread, YKK invisible zippers, French linen tapes and the simplest two-hole, straight-sided buttons – but the search and the temptation goes on. I commissioned a finer textured wide linen sheeting for sheets, pillow slips and lighter duvets, tablecloths and curtains. I couldn’t resist the sheer airiness of open-weave Myriad curtains. Lately I added rich, urbane colors to my beloved classic neutrals – black, gray, indigo. Fabric samples are freely available, just ask.
You know those signs in France, "le patron mange ici"…
Well, la patronne dort ici: I don't just stand by my product, I sleep in it.
My duvet: Orkney Rough Linen™ queen.
My pillow: smooth white pillow slip with hidden support from Orkney bolster.
Behind me: Orkney natural sham.
My sheet is, of course, a: smooth white linen sheet.