Traveling abroad in New Zealand and France in my early 20’s was the first time I was truly introduced to the complexities of linen fabric. It seemed to be the material that made up most kitchen linens and aprons, but also bath towels, bed linens, and clothing as well. I was able to admire the simplicity of its texture and its ability to develope its own language over time. Becoming softer, stretching, and shrinking in the wash, crisping up in the sun...and the older it was, the better it became.
It wasn’t until I was back in the states that I began to notice its lack of commonplace and began to question it. I had purchased multiple pieces of clothing while traveling, and I was able to understand the lightweight appeal to the fabric, and its unique ability to be dressed up or down.
As I continued to wear these pieces I also recognized my cotton and polyester pieces that were turning over constantly, while my linen tops were trudging through. I could see its resilience and wanted to learn more, so I began to do more research.
Here’s the thing about linen–
Linen has been known to be one of the most durable natural fibers in the world as it is derived from the flax plant. When weaved this material contains air flow throughout its fibers making it well known for its antibacterial properties especially in towels, unlike cotton. Linen is also super absorbent, but that same air flow made available by its fiber makes the material quick to dry and able to withstand longer use before and after wash. It weathers and wears and gets better in time, being a more sustainable fiber with less consumption of water during its lifetime.
Since learning all this information I have chosen linen over any other natural material for the shop.
In 2022 we connected with a small family business out of Lithuania who focuses on linen goods. They both stitch and dye the pieces and support fair trade business. Both their team and ours collaborate on custom colors made exclusively for Notary Ceramics. In the past year we have introduced Sand, Chalk, and Mushroom to our showroom in a variety of kitchen, dinner, and bath linen products.
This season we are adding a new dye to our collection, Bark.
We wanted something a little darker, but still natural and rich. When we stumbled across the Pantone shade we now call Bark, we were set. We sent our choices over, got our samples, and narrowed down our decision. A few months later we had our new linen and just needed to land on a name. We thought about naming it Mahogany, Cocoa, or Walnut but at the end we came back to the name Bark (as kindly suggested by one of our customers!).
This new linen is now available on our online store and in our Sellwood, Oregon shop for you to have for years to come! Enjoy!