My first sewing project was a square dance skirt when I was eight years old. I'm not sure how much of the sewing I actually did, but every time I spun around I felt proud and accomplished, and also a little like Dorothy because it was blue gingham. Learning how to use a sewing machine was part of my growing up. Eventually I made curtains for the van I lived in for a short time after college, and today I make my own aprons and patch Ben's shirts on a vintage machine that was my grandmother's and weighs approximately three bajillion pounds. But this is supposed to be about our linens, or so the title says.
A few years ago, I became really interested in textile waste that results from the home industry. So much goes into making a simple napkin, from the water used to grow the fiber to the human labor that turns it into a finished product. In the process, a massive amount of waste is left on the literal cutting room floor. Most of that waste is entirely unnecessary and completely avoidable.
When we found a 100% linen fabric sold in 19" widths, I was hooked. Instead of cutting napkins or tea towels out of larger pieces of fabric, resulting in lots of cast-off scraps, we could be precise and use every inch of every yard.* I started sewing tea towels and napkins for our kitchen from this linen to replace ones that wore out or were otherwise destroyed through daily use, and we fell in love with them.
Today, we offer napkins, tea towels, and loop towels (which pair with our Riven Rock Towel Holder) in this beautiful, 100% linen. Some are sewn by local manufacturing partners, like Made X Hudson, but I still sew many of them on my grandmother's sewing machine.
If you bring our linens into your home, I recommend machine washing and hang-drying, or promptly removing from the drier to decrease wrinkling. Each piece will soften over time, and we recommend people start with a tea towel or two as they are workhorses, serving as dish towels, bathroom hand towels, or extra-large napkins. Share how you use your rustic linens with us by tagging us on Instagram or using the hashtag #quittner.
*We used this same methodology when designing our Signature Floral, so there is nearly no lost material in the making of each tablecloth.