Saturday, July 30, 2016

Linen fabric - a closer look

The stripey linen for our kitchen windows arrived this week!

Bonus: it does not smell like fabric softener.  It's a bit musty, but that's understandable given its age, and it just required one run through the washer.

The first thing I noticed is that the non-stripey part of the fabric is very dark - if I understand correctly that's because of the flax, which will fade to off white as it's washed.  You can see the contrast with an off-white background mostly strongly here:

But against the other stripey tea towels I found, which have a herringbone weave in the same light brown flaxy fiber, it's less obvious.

I am so happy with how these three different stripey towel fabrics look similar without matching perfectly.  It should go a long way to give the impression of a house pieced together over many years (you know, instead of just two.)

Also, the darker background should soften the transition between our dark brown dining table and pale floors and walls.  I won't be washing the fabric that's going over the windows nearly as often as I will the towels that will serve as basket liners, small table coverings, and - well, tea towels, so unless I make an active effort to wash that yardage a lot before I sew the curtains it should stay pretty brownish.

I guess I'll have to decide which would be better in a kitchen with slightly off-white cabinets and walls, a soapstone counter, and maple floors.

What would you do?

I'll tell you one thing I did straightaway:

I did a zigzag stitch on the raw edges so they could stand up to the washing machine.

Isn't it cool to see the size of the linen singles that went into the weave?

Love that.  Best purchase I've made for the house, not counting the dining chairs and dreamy daybed (pix coming, as soon as there's space to photograph it without a wrapped, too-big sofa in the background.)  I especially like how I didn't have to weave this fabric myself, heh.

Now I'm going to see how far I can get with a new sock over a long weekend with card-playing friends.  I won't be back here till Tuesday, but hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to share.  Have a great weekend yourself, and I'll see you then!


Laurinda said...

Oh Mary, that linen is just so lovely!(so jealous) I wouldn't wash it overmuch, it'll be fine. Even if the background colors end up slightly faded on the towels & not the curtains, they'll still match. They'll just be fraternal twins, & not identical 😁

PS: zigzagging that edge was pretty smart!

Mary Keenan said...

yeah, I gotta say I really love the fabric, regardless of the background! And a little bit of brown just means the floor will tie in better, because we're running hardwood through the kitchen this time.