Exquisitely designed and classic in appearance, an Irish linen tablecloth is a timeless addition to any dining area.
About Irish Linens
Soft and lightweight, Irish linen is a simple yet luxurious material used in a variety of products that range from clothes to household goods. Since it is so breathable, Irish linen is popular for use in warm weather since it easily absorbs moisture and remains fresh even in the stickiest conditions. Irish linen is also eco-friendly, and is a favorite of individuals who favor natural products.
True to its name, Irish linen is produced in Ireland. It begins as pure flax fiber, which is spun into a yarn and finally woven into the fabric known as Irish linen. In order to be considered authentic, the linen must be produced using Irish workmanship and machinery, but the flax fiber itself does not have to be Irish grown. In fact, the majority of flax fibers used in the process are imported from Belgium, the Netherlands and France, since climate limitations prevent high quality growth in Ireland. Finally, the weaving itself must also be done in Ireland.
Features of the Irish Linen Tablecloth
If you're thinking of adding an Irish linen tablecloth to your dining space, you'll soon discover that there is no better choice for a look that is at once relaxed and elegant. A tablecloth made from Irish linen is quite versatile; it can be used in just about any dining setting, from the actual dining room to an informal picnic. There are many varieties available to suit different occasions, and you will find them available at all price points. Other features include:
- Cleanliness: Basic household stains are very easy to remove from Irish linen. A simple wash should do the trick, but a spot treatment with everyday detergent can also easily vanquish more stubborn stains.
- Distinction: In a market full of synthetic and mass produced products, Irish linen boasts a certain distinction among its peers. It exudes a graceful, crisp appearance, yet is practically effortless in its care requirements. Tablecloths run the gamut from simple to extravagant, but all styles feature the same thoughtful attention to proper weaving techniques.
- Durability: Irish linen holds up extremely well over time. It handles regular machine washes with ease, and actually tends to become stronger over time.
- Elegance: Don't mistake Irish linen for being too relaxed for fancy settings. A double damask linen tablecloth offers the same dramatic elegance as silk and satin. This is thanks to its high thread count (200 threads per square inch as opposed to 162 threads in a single damask). This adds weight and allows intricate embroidery to stand out even more than it would otherwise.
Where to Purchase
Irish linen tablecloths are readily available both online and in brick and mortar stores. You will likely find a more outstanding selection online, where many e-commerce stores are dedicated solely to Irish linen products. They include:
- Celtic Linen: For an immense selection of tablecloths with various prints, look no further. This online retailer offers everything from basic, everyday tablecloths to colorful Irish linen complements, like placemats and napkins. If you're seeking great variety, this is a good place to start.
- Simply Irish: The name says it all. Look for tablecloths in a variety of sizes, all woven with intricate patterns like shamrocks, chrysanthemums and Celtic knots. The products ship directly from Dublin, Ireland, and shipping charges vary based on your country and import duties and taxes.
- Thomas Ferguson Irish Linen: In business since 1854, Ferguson is one of the few retailers left that weaves traditional damask table linens in Ireland. The striking tablecloths are available in shades of natural and white, and consumers can purchase sample fabric swatches if they wish to get a feel of the material prior to ordering the actual tablecloth. Some of the company's products are available at retailers around the world, while the entire collection can be purchased online. Visit the Stockists (retailers) page for details.
Treat It Right
As with any delicate household fabric, it's imperative to take proper care of your Irish linens. While regular machine washing techniques are suitable for most Irish linens, pay close attention to the care instructions for your tablecloth purchase since some may be better suited to hand washing. Irish linens should never be treated with bleach, which may irreversibly alter the fabric color and fiber integrity.
It's preferable to allow the tablecloth to line dry in the sunlight instead of tumble drying. If you do choose to iron Irish linen, do so while the tablecloth is still slightly damp. Start on the wrong side to smooth out creases and then lightly run the iron over the front side. Finally, store the tablecloth in a cool, well-ventilated space, preferably rolled up instead of folded. These tips will protect your investment and ensure you enjoy years of use.