Textile Report - Robert Kaufman Essex Linen

Robert Kaufman Essex Linen is a linen/cotton blend that has captured my design heart.  Having spent countless hours researching 100% linen fabrics, I have discovered Essex Linen to be a phenomenal alternative.  Having a fabric content of 55% linen and 45% cotton, it is the best of both worlds.  

My fabric of choice has always been 100% cotton whether it is denim, ticking, or twill.  I love the texture, colors, and usability.  My first Blue Cupboard kitchen prototypes were designed and developed with these cotton fabrics and have proven themselves in our home as we use them daily.

Enter Essex Linen.....

As I was developing the Blue Cupboard line I was drawn to the gorgeous textures and tones of pure linen.  I also know from experience that good European quality linen is very expensive and can be trickier to work with.  Shrinkage and it or hate it....really no in between.

Until now....

Essex Linen is a blend of 55% linen 45% cotton and is a DREAM to work with.  All of my fabrics are pre-washed and dried at hot temperatures as I want to make sure that no matter how a customer washes the Blue Cupboard design at home, there are NO unexpected surprises.  

I recently obtained a yard of this fabric to try and test and am thrilled with the results.  The texture and feel after pre-washing was amazing.  The linen fibers are noticeable in the weave and the cotton addition gives a sturdier feel.  Pressing hems was a breeze and the color choices are magnificent!

From a hot bath in the washer to a hot dryer, Essex Linen certainly does have some shrinkage but not nearly the amount I have seen with pure linen.  Wrinkles are present but softer in appearance making it ideal for those that do not intend to iron before use.

The texture is incredible.  There is a rustic sturdiness that feels wonderful to the hand.  Absorbency is terrific and the care is a breeze.  Stains are treated the same as cotton fabrics and the outcome is predictable.  Now please know that I am using my Blue Cupboard prototypes in the "extreme" at home to ensure that when I tell you about product performance, it comes from experience and not a label.

I am in love with the colors of the solids and can't wait to try more colors in the yard dyed collection.  

The solid Essex Linen fabrics have a more formal appearance to me while the yarn dyed Essex Linens have a rustic textural presence.  

Both are simply divine...

I am waiting on a colorful shipment of RK Essex Linen fabrics and with the success of the two recent prototypes in white, I am chomping at the bit for it's arrival!

I am curious about your thoughts or experiences with either pure linen or linen blends...which do you prefer and why?

Looking forward to hearing from you!