All our embroidery fabrics are made in France. Our 12 count and 16 count per cm linens are reputed for their quality with a very even weave and just enough starch to make embroidering a pleasure. Some of our clients have even discovered the joy of embroidering on linen thanks to our fabrics.
In France, linen cultivation is one of the specialities of the Upper Normandy region. This plant is sown between March and April and needs about 100 days to reach 1 metre in height. The flowering in June is very short-lived: it flowers in the morning and withers in the afternoon. Mid-July, the whole flax plant is pulled up, including the roots and left to dry in the fields before threshing, to remove the seeds which will be planted for the next harvest. The stalks are left in the fields for a process known as retting, which literally means rotting, to separate the fibres.
These 14 x 14cm squares are available in all the colours in our range of 12 count embroidery linens. Let your imagination run wild and create all sorts of projects – plaids, cushions, bags, tablecloths… These are the same squares as found in our famous Chambord plaid kit.
Linen is one of the oldest fibres in the world. Cultivated in Egypt at the time of the Pharaohs, it was used for garments, sails and fishing nets. Cultivated by the Gauls, it is thanks to Charlemagne that developments advanced, linen being one of the Royal harvests. It was in widespread use from the 11th century – a good example being the famous Bayeux Tapestry. By the 12th century, mass importation of cotton saw a decline in the use and cultivation of linen. It was not until after the Second World War, thanks to numerous technical developments, that there was a resurgence of interest for linen. This fibre is today considered as a material of the future with usage going far beyond textiles. Embroiderers, however, have never ceased to use this noble fabric to highlight the finesse of their work. Here are our numerous colours of linen coupons.
These 70cm square swatches are used for the large projects in our Museums and Heritage collection.
The off-white corresponds to the Toile de Jouy kit, sand for the Bayeux Tapestry, Sajou blue for the Sajou 10th anniversary kit, cyclamen for the Tinctorial Plants, pearl grey for the Versailles pattern chart, pink for Marie-Antoinette, bark for Napoleon and Josephine.
Our 12 threads per cm (32 count) linen to embroider are available by the metre.
Nearly 30 colours are available.
It was Belgian farmers who reintroduced linen cultivation to France after the Second World War. They found the climate in the north of France favourable for this harvest. Flax flourishes in cool, damp environments and is not fond of temperatures exceeding 25 degrees. To embroider on 16 count linen, we recommend using just one strand of our Retors du Nord embroidery yarn. You can also obtain spectacular results using our Fil Au Chinois gloving thread.
Aida fabric was only invented at the beginning of the 20th century, which is why there are no vintage embroideries on this support. Aida has a specific mesh forming squares facilitating cross-stitch. It is particularly recommended for beginners, children and rapid cross-stitch. Embroidery dimensions: this Aida fabric has 55 points per 10cm. As a comparison, the same number of stitches on 12 count linen fabric will measure 9.2cm.
Fabric napkins are the current trend in these times of waste reduction. Here we have linen or Aïda napkins with their matching holders. They make great little gifts and are quick to customize. You can find a large choice of initials in our Sajou albums, or even lovely little friezes in our green Sajou albums n° 657 and 658.
There are two types of canvas for tapestry: mono and Penelope. Mono canvas is woven in squares and is generally the type that it is used for classic needlepoint on the diagonal. Penelope canvas is woven with double threads and is finer. The double weave makes it perfect for techniques requiring more detail. This can be seen on vintage tapestries in the finesse of hands and faces, often sewn using different threads than the rest of the surface.