Home and family are a constant source of inspiration for us, as well as the surrounding countryside. So when we create our furniture, we start from nature and natural beauty. It's why we gravitated to the beauty and intrinsically sustainable qualities of linen. We work very closely with a family run workshop in Florence, Italy to create our 100% Linen in such a way that respects the material, the environment, and the traditions of the making process.
"As a brand, we are committed to producing products from sustainable and natural materials that last a lifetime," shares Alex Willcock, Maker&Son's founder from Kemps House, his family home and heart of the business in West Sussex.
The enduring nature of linen reflects timeless qualities that support both individualistic interiors as well as a new modern sophistication. Its sustainable qualities are twofold, spanning its sourcing and ultimately longevity as a fabric that ages beautifully.
Linen’s sustainable qualities are a natural fit when it comes to Maker&Son's design and production ethos. Alex is especially proud that linen sits at the heart of our fabric offering, stating that "our heavyweight 100% Linen is woven specially for us in Florence and perfectly captures the spirit of our overall brand ethos. Weighing nearly 1kg per square metre and pre-washed three times at the mill, it is the most extraordinarily beautiful fabric and loved by our customers all over the world."
We thought it might be helpful to share some of our knowledge about this beautiful fabric and the advice we offer our customers when caring for their linen:
Where is linen sustainably sourced?
A completely natural material made from the flax plant, linen is a very unique fabric that is revered as one of the world’s oldest textiles. Its usage spans centuries, originating from the Asian highlands and then adopted by the Caucasus onwards to Egypt and Europe.
What makes linen so durable?
"Quite simply, the linen we use at Maker&Son will last a lifetime," explains Alex. "It's heavy (nearly commercial grade) weight and pre-washing means that not only does it stay looking great, but it also is incredibly soft as well. It’s no wonder that over 70% of our sales are in our linen."
Stronger than cotton by over 35%, its resilient weave is adverse to pilling and improves with each wash to gently soften over time without fading. No matter the demands of a busy household, this robust textile can withstand at least 30,000 rubs.
Alex agrees that its seemingly ageless qualities makes linen an irresistible choice for those who love to invest and curate future heirlooms. "There is something about the pleasure of getting into some fresh linen sheets that is almost impossible to describe - I absolutely love it and can't imagine sleeping in anything else! We also have a collection of antique embroidered linen tablecloths and napkins bought in France many years ago, which I love very dearly."
Why is linen practical for different climates?
Breathable and hypoallergenic, it's ideal for various climates all year round due to its thermoregulating properties: linen naturally cools in the summer and warms in the winter. In addition, our 100% Linen is a very durable plain-weave (ideal for household and commercial use) and proudly displays its characteristic slub for a very natural look and feel.
What makes this traditional fabric perfect for modern living?
Exceptionally soft and unbelievably durable, our Maker&Son 100% Linen is timeless in its beauty and practicality. Offering a beautiful drape, it weighs nearly one kilogram per square metre of fabric, showcasing linen in its most refined and natural form. Developed in collaboration with our partners' family-run mill in Florence, its weight, durability, and luxurious feel reflect the same qualities as sitting or resting in a luxury hotel room.
"We believe that furniture is designed for living, so simply remove and wash in case of a stain or accident. We have treated our 100% Linen for creasing (a common aspect of linen fabrics), offering a premium quality that is suitable for furniture that will be with you and your family for a lifetime," shares the Maker&Son team.
How to care for linen?
We love the natural relaxed look of a linen sofa, but want to balance this with a clean crispness. To help maintain its natural beauty for the long term, be sure to vacuum your furniture regularly. Vacuuming prevents smaller particles such as crumbs, dirt dust from embedding themselves between the weave of our Song Sofa, Marnie Love Seat, or Otter Chaise. All of our 100% Linen covers are machine washable and efficiently cleaned on a gentle and slow spin cycle. Once washed, remove the covers from the machine and hang to dry naturally to avoid creasing as much as possible.
The best cleaning technique to remove small stains?
When entertaining, if minor stains and spills occur, use a clean, damp cloth to soak up the liquid. Don't scrub the fabric nor grind the stain into the material, this can damage the fabric's surface. Instead, for best results, gently dab and lift the stains. Use either a flannel or the soft side of a sponge – both should be white or very light in colour and ideally apply bicarbonate of soda. This natural cleaner is also an excellent option for lifting stains by first sprinkling onto the fabric and then vacuuming off before using a clean damp cloth to dab the stain gently.