Made from start to finish in a 300 year old mill in Northern Ireland, our Irish Beetled Linen is a truly unique fabric. It possesses a papery and crisp handle, and a beautifully smooth and lustrous surface; the resulting characteristics of the beetling process. In this unusual finishing technique, the linen is wrapped around an iron beam, then repeatedly pounded from above with wooden hammers which rise and fall via a series of ancient slow moving cogs and gears, all powered by a waterwheel in the nearby river.
These distinctive characteristics can be used to great effect on deep buttoned or tufted furniture, as neat and sharp folds, and pleating, can easily be achieved. The cloths crisp handle means its best suited for use on firm upholstery, as opposed to very soft feather or foam filled furniture. We have often used it on dining chair seats with great success, and select it for the outside back panels of chairs or sofas, or the bases of upholstered footstools, in combination with other complementary fabrics. This linen works wonderfully made up into Roman and roller blinds, and used to cover lampshades.
Beetled linen has similar properties to silk fabric, where contact with water or grease could leave a mark on its surface, and repeated marking would build with time to an interesting overall picture of gentle patination; akin to the beautiful patina that leathers and suedes develop with use. Alternatively, the application of Scotch Guard spray reduces the likelihood of water staining, should you wish to keep the linen looking ‘as new’ for the longest possible time. We encourage taking the relaxed approach and letting any marks build up, and enjoying the effect of this unique characteristic. This advice is likely only relevant if you wished to use this linen for upholstery, as opposed to blinds which are unlikely to become marked through use.
Despite its fine weight, the linen is surprisingly strong due to its tight weave. We have also laminated a fine cotton to the reverse side, which has further increased its robustness. If you wish to specify it for use on seating, we recommend that it be light or occasional use furniture. The cloth has a full width of 130 cm, however we describe the cloth as having a useable width of 110 cm as slight creases can occur in the lamination process on the edges, 10 cm into each side of the cloth.
The cloth can be washed on a cool setting, but please expect some shrinkage as its not pre-shrunk. Washing will remove the shiny finish, but the cloth will still have a crisp handle. Ironing it on the highest temperature setting, while the linen is still a little damp, will re-smooth the linen, though not fully replace the original beetled shine.
- Name: Irish Beetled Linen
- Colour: Pewter
- Composition: 100% linen face, 100% cotton backing
- Total fabric width: 130cm
- Useable fabric width: 110cm
- Repeat size: n/a
- Minimum order: 1 metre for retail customers, 2 metres for trade customers
- Available in increments of: 10cm