If my inbox is any indication, most of the new product launches seem to be textiles — from new lines of outdoor fabrics to tea towels and table linens. I wouldn’t say it’s on trend, per se, but the ones that stand out for me are the simple and rustic linens, reminiscent of vintage French tea towels like the ones above. I absolutely love this look, but I confess that real antique linens, with all of their signs of use over the years, creep me out a bit. Luckily, my recent discovery of sustainably produced, vintage-inspired finds means that I can get the look without the faded stains.
Creative Women is a high-quality line of traditionally-inspired but sophisticated home accessories and linens, available at Toronto’s Hollace Cluny and Tealish, as well as Marie Olive in Hawkesbury, ON. Creative Women is a U.S.-based organization that works with textile factories owned by women in Ethiopia, Swaziland, Afghanistan, and Mali, in order to foster women’s economic independence and support fair trade practices. I love these lightweight cotton towels, which could be used as a throw, sarong or picnic blanket.
Their heavyweight Swazi cotton blankets are denser but incredibly soft, and come in a pretty and subdued range of colour combinations. One of my favourite things about Creative Women’s products is that they’re trendy and sophisticated, rather than looking like souvenirs from the countries they are made in.
Turkish hammam towels are another great way to add a sense of homespun appeal to your bathroom. The fringe gives them an unfinished, casual look, even though they come across as more special than everyday terry towels. They can be hard to find, but L’Aviva Home will ship to Canada, and they have a fantastic selection. (Check out the suzanis, too.)
Canadian-born, L.A.-based designer Heather Heron recently created a collection for Environment Furniture, but she is best known for her hemp textiles and handbags. This luxe blanket is made of hand-knotted organic hemp — the new cashmere — and gets even softer with use and hand washing. I love her style and aesthetic — she might just be my latest designer crush.
In Toronto, I can always count on La Merceria for housewares and textiles with this vintage-yet-refined sense of comfort. Owner Sandra Rojas-Chinni has a great eye, and recently got me on to the tea towels from Bailey Doesn’t Bark. This dotted Irish linen tea towel isn’t necessarily vintage-looking, but it has an organic, delicate pattern and tactile appeal.
For more hand-woven and hand-printed tea towels, check out Sarah Hartill’s Kitchen Pick-Me-Ups blog post.