Fabrics for the Kitchen

What makes a good fabric for the kitchen? Whether it's an apron or a tea towel/ dish towel, which fabric is better than another? Why do chefs and bakers prefer one over the other?  Here is a brief rundown of what's what and what you might like.

Linen: do you immediately think of summer dresses or pants?  Timeless and classic.  Linen fibers are from the flax plant and much stronger than cotton.  They yield cool yet absorbent fabrics.  However they do wrinkle easily.  This fabric makes a perfect kitchen apron, a place where it gets hot! 

cassandra ellis linen fabric

Chambray: a plain weave fabric made of a white weft and colored warp yarn creating a beautiful watercolor look.  It's cotton, it's sturdy.  Light to medium weight.  Great fabric for aprons or table cloth. 

above chambray fabric from fabric.com by Robert Kaufman

Denim:  Really? Denim?  Yes.  Many kitchens are now preferring or wearing denim.  Denim as you know comes in many weights and weaves.  From 3 oz to 16 oz, denim is made to take a beating.  It is woven in a twill weave, a zig zag or angled weave.  This makes it quite strong and hard to tear. Similar to chambray it is sometimes made with 2 different colored yarns.  Denim will make a great apron for kitchen wear, restaurant wear or studio wear.   Don't buy something too heavy because it may become cumbersome and hot in a kitchen.

Do you have a fabric you love to use in the kitchen? Or something you absolutely will not use! Please share!

Happy Friday!

Tracey Toole

www.traceytoole.com  |    www.traceytoole.etsy.com


Irish Linen

In the past year I have started to work with linen and linen mix fabrics.   What I know of  linen is that it is expensive.  But I have learned much more in the past year.  However, what is Irish Linen.  Being half Irish descent and it being the month of St.Patrick I thought I would do some exploratory research.  

Linen from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

Linen from Cloth by Cassandra Ellis

Yes linen is expensive.  Irish linen is also quite expensive. But do you know why?  Flax, which also appears in our diet and grocery stores lately, is a strong fibre. Linen comes from the flax fibre, which is stronger than cotton and more durable.  What makes something Irish? Well being made in Ireland.  The majority of "Irish Linen" in the past 200 to 300 years was used for the upper class.  The more yardage used in a garment the wealthier you were.  Seven yards for a shirt! That's quite a lot.  Today a regular man's woven button down shirt consumes about 3 yards.  

the flax plant and seeds photos from  Irish Linen.com

the flax plant and seeds photos from Irish Linen.com

Since the 1950's and 60's flax has been imported to Ireland.  Most linen today is custom designed and to carry the "Irish Linen Guild" logo the linen must be spun, woven and designed in Ireland.  The flax usually comes from somewhere in Europe. 

If you come upon some Irish Linen, look for the logo and treat yourself!

Tracey Toole