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About Rough Linen

My grandmother's great grandmother's linen bag from 1840


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.

My grandmother's great grandmother's linen bag from 1840

natural materials

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.

Beautiful materials

beautiful fabrics

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.

Rough Linen Orkney natural duvet cover with coconut buttons.

precision sewing

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.

Tricia in bed with a Rough Linen Bed Makeover: linen duvet cover, linen sheet, linen pillow slips, linen shams, linen bolster.

le patron mange ici

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.