September 23, 2016

Stylish comfort: Textiles

Textiles. They’re the lifeblood of any kitchen, moveable, stretchable, malleable fabric adding a softer human touch to all of the hard-edged woods and metals.

From keeping skillets cool while flipping Saturday morning pancakes to making a hot cup of chamomile right before bed, textiles provide a simultaneous dose of comfort and aesthetics. But there’s a big difference between factory-made dishcloths and tea towels and their handmade counterparts. Touch some of these handmade cloths and you’ll instantly know the difference. Handmade linens are sturdy yet soft, with fine details and immaculate stitching. They’re the kind of products you’ll want to use daily, once you get over any fears that they’re too beautiful to get dirty. Believe us, we’ve been there, and just remember…that’s why we bought them!

We’ve seen an emergence of talented textile makers over the past few years. Makers who’ve been eager to take the lost art of textile making and create a new standard – one that embodies a more contemporary, minimalist approach.

From Japanese designer Yumiko Sekine whose shop Fog Linen in Cambridge, Massachusetts favors simple prints and patterns in muted grays and blues – herringbone, check, pinstripe; the classics….updated. They’re the type of linens that get better with age, growing softer and more absorbent with each wash.

We love the range of apron styles, from midi aprons to the more standard full variety with contrasting piping along the edges. And not to be missed are their handmade trays made from various linen patterns and covered with a poly resin for hardened, sleek shine.

Shop Fog Linen piece shot Shop Fog Linen linen trays

On the West Coast, Native Organic Cotton is the antidote to modern cotton farming practices, which are laden with pesticides and insecticides. Partnerships with local farmers and fair trade agreements give peace of mind to shoppers looking for sustainable, eco-friendly cotton.  

This week we’re featuring one of our favorite makers at Propped – a brand that we’ve come to know and love for their minimalist, livable style and functional pieces.

Based in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Red House is the poster child for pared-down textiles that embody the core tenets of quality, craftsmanship and durability. We’re sold on principle alone, but with the added bonus: their products are stunningly beautiful.

From their laundered aprons, to the napkins, table runners and dishtowels, husband and wife team Britt and Matt use high-end European linens as the foundation for their signature products. We love everything about this duo – not only do the products speak for themselves, but the Red House team also lives the brand with their focus on a simpler, less chaotic way of life.

Woman in kitchen with full apron Woman with stripped apron wrapped around waist

Their effortlessly stylish brand video showcases their life in Vermont, bringing a story and flavor to their textiles. Every product in their line came out of a need for their own home, which, true to their name, is a red house in Vermont.

When you invest in fine linens, you’ll want to make sure to care for them properly. We’ve listed a few guidelines:

  • Wash before using, especially for fine fabrics which are generally not pre-washed. This will set the threads, leading to a prolonged life and preservation of the fabric’s beauty.
  • Set it to a warm water wash with a cold water rinse on the gentle/delicate cycle.
  • Use a mild detergent (experts recommend LeBlanc Linen Wash), with no bleach and no fabric softeners.
  • Wash in smaller loads than regular laundry and only pour in detergent after the water has filled so that it can dilute properly.

Dishtowels hanging next to vintage rake

For the latest on textile trends, check our Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook accounts. In particular, we have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things textile which should provide some fabric inspiration as we head towards the colder months. See you over there!

Interested in following our makers? You can find them on Instagram at @redhousevt and @shopfoglinen