(Video link here or on YouTube.) We spent part of this weekend poking around Rough Linen, an online store and information resource for fine affordable linen products made by proprietor Tricia Rose. (We are mulling using one of her Summer Covers as a multi-configurable/multi-purpose bed skirt but more on that in another post; we’re still figuring it out.)

We discovered that Tricia Rose has many clever ideas for using linen throughout the home, especially the dining room, as this video shows. Her thoughts on napkin sizes echo ours —they should be big!— and she had the brilliant idea of bundling two napkins together: one to cover your lap and clothes, the other to actually use — dab your mouth, wipe off your fingers if eating something messy. (In restaurants, we routinely ask for a second napkin for exactly this reason, to keep our pants, skirt or shirt clean.)


She also shows layering tableclothes, in this case a ripped smooth white linen is covered by a hemmed, natural Orkney cloth, for a lovely effect:


In her gallery of ideas, we found this image of a Rough Linen customer’s use of a Smooth White Sheet as tablecloth and…

bridget ? for rough linen
bridget ? for rough linen

…a sofa covering:

bridget ? for rough linen
bridget ? for rough linen

Since we love the look of ripped linen, we were thinking of using Rough Linen’s sheets for just that purpose; we figure we might get a bunch of big napkins and a tablecloth out of a 118″ x 125″ California King.  Since really wide lengths of linen are hard to come by retail, flat sheets are a great solution to many linen improvisations, whether ripped or sewn; and they’re wonderful to sleep on. Rough Linen’s sheets are generous, great quality, and a good deal for the money. (Although sheets are not pre-shrunk, they are sewn a bit large to account for shrinkage.)

Bear in mind that Summer Weight Linen is about 1/3 less hefty than the classic Smooth White Linen and somewhat sheer. It would make lovely curtains…

Stay tuned for our dust ruffle solution and Tricia Rose’s philosophy (plus advice about caring for linen). In the meantime, here are more linen ideas:

reminder: you don’t have to iron or hem linen cloths

diy: oversized ripped linen napkins

gift: endlessly useful furoshiki cloth…you can even wear it

unhemmed (ripped) linen with yarn stitching

the joys of unorthodox tableclothes

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2 replies on “rough linen’s clever ideas for tabletop + home decor

  1. Thank you for this resource, Sally! I’ve long wanted a set of linen linens!


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