Prune Allain des Beauvais of Yves Delorme on the production and merits of good quality bed linen
Interview: Clare Finney
Our bed linen and towelling is made in France, in two areas that have a history of cotton and linen weaving. The Haubourdin workshop in northern France, near Lille, specialises in bed linens, from production to the finishing touches—cutting, sewing, embroidering and folding. The Sevelinges workshop, which specialises in Jacquard terry cloth weaving, is located in central France, near Lyon. That is where the Fremaux family founded their first mill in 1845, and they are still based there. Our CEO, Dominique Fremaux, is the fifth generation of the family to run the business.
Thread count—how many threads are woven into one square inch of fabric—is one way of measuring the quality of bed linen, but it is not the only way. The weave is also important. Percales and sateens are woven with long fibre Egyptian cotton, which makes the fabric silky and soft. Percale sheets are strong and long-lasting with a crisp, fresh feel. Percale has a minimum thread count of 170 threads per square inch, but at Yves Delorme, ours has a thread count between 200 and 500. Sateen, which is manufactured in a satin weave, has a lustrous satin finish and a softer feel, which reflects the light.
A jacquard is both a loom and a type of weave which produces a woven pattern by individually adjusting the warp threads. Jacquard looms are used to make damask, brocade and tapestry fabrics. This technique, which is one of our specialisms, allows the pattern to be integrated into the fabric, while retaining its soft and smooth feel. If you go to our competitors, you might find the patterns are embroidered or printed.
All of our signature floral patterns are watercolours, created by our artistic director Laurence Rouet. We are well known for these patterns, which are reproduced so vibrantly onto our linen through building up the colours. Laurence likes to draw flowers but also trees, foliage, herbs. Our autumn/winter collection for 2018 will show all the different faces that nature takes when it is in contact with wind, snow and frost.
Buying good quality bed linen is important: you will feel more comfortable sleeping in linen that is 100 per cent cotton. The fabric breathes better, and will feel nicer on your skin.
In our Hinde Street shop, you can have absolutely anything you like monogrammed onto your linen: initials, names, family crests, business logos. We can work with architects, designers and for local private houses owners based in Marylebone.