Friday, March 14, 2014

Dorsey Cashmere Throw by Sferra

Winter is still here and boy is it still cold outside! We offer many great throw blankets  to snuggle up with. One that we think is pretty great is the Dorsey cashmere throw by Sferra.

Q: How is the Dorsey cashmere throw made?
A: SFERRA’s Dorsey throw is made of the world's finest cashmere from Inner Mongolia, a northern autonomous region of China. Its cooler climate and natural grassland vegetation make Inner Mongolia an ideal location to produce the best quality cashmere – longer, stronger and finer fibers. Raw cashmere fibers are washed, de-haired and carefully hand-picked by experienced workers. Then these fibers are eco-dyed, woolen spun and woven using state-of-the-art technology. The result is a superior cashmere throw – incredibly soft, warm and resilient. Dorsey can be treasured as a family heirloom and passed down from generation to generation. Below I have included a few photos of the process.
Cashmere farm in Inner Mongolia:

Yarn spinning machines:

Weaving machine:

SFERRA’s Dorsey throw:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Caring for fine linens starts with a good laundry detergent

We recently posted about how to properly care for your linens to keep them looking bright and color fast.  One of the best products on the market to do just that is The Laundress.  At A Touch of Lace we carry a variety of The Laundress products to help with your laundering needs. 

The Laundress
The Laundress is an eco-chic line of specialty detergent and fabric care created to take the chore out of doing laundry. Frustrated with dingy white t-shirts, ruined items from the dry cleaners and chemically treated cashmere, The Laundress researched and developed their own solutions to simplify and master the fine art of laundry. The Laundress values the importance of properly cared for clothing and home linens so they formulated the most effective ingredients for each specific fabric need with their favorite scents to create sophisticated, efficacious, green and easy to use collection.

Monday, March 3, 2014

How should you keep your linens from fading?

Q: How do you keep luxury linens from fading?
A: It is important to understand just what causes linens to fade. Most likely, fading is due to a combination of factors, including cleaning techniques, exposure to weather/sunlight, and normal wear and tear. Some of these factors are out of your control. However, in order to minimize fading, it is essential to take special care to control those factors you can.
It is a best practice to read and understand the fabric care instructions label and adopt its laundering recommendations. Before washing, sort your laundry into like colors. Always use a mild detergent, with no Chlorine. Never use a fabric softener. Think cool! Washing in hot water and drying on high temperatures will not only damage the fabric, but it may also cause fading. If you line-dry your linens, avoid direct sunlight, as the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause colors to fade.
Here’s something to keep in mind: if you have matching linens (a set of sheets and pillowcases, a tablecloth and matching napkins, etc.) each piece should be cared for equally regardless of whether or not it is soiled, or even used. Wash them all together. The idea is to give each piece the same frequency of trips through the laundering process to help maintain color consistency. This practice will not necessarily help avoid fading, but it will make any fading that does occur much less noticeable.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How does a quilt differ from a matelassé?

Q: How does a quilt differ from a matelassé?
A: A quilt is traditionally a bed cover in which a layer of batting, or padding, is placed between two layers of fabric and then stitched into a specific pattern or design to hold the layers in place. Batting is a soft, bulky assembly of fibers that provides loft and a layer of insulation. A “wholecloth quilt” uses a single piece of fabric for the top layer, as compared to a “piecework quilt” that joins smaller sections of fabric together to create the top layer.
On the other hand, matelassé is a fabric that appears to be quilted, but actually has no batting. Specialty jacquard looms are used to give a matelassé fabric a unique appearance of intricate designs, raised patterns, indentations, and the padded look, often associated with quilts.
SFERRA has introduced two new “wholecloth quilt” options for Spring 2014, Sesto and Denina.
Sesto is an elegant quilt that lends a simple, serene layer of beauty and warmth to the bed using our lustrous Fiona sateen, delicately spun and woven in Italy of Egyptian cotton. It’s then enfolded with a layer of cozy fiberfill, and overstitched with a ‘subway tile’ pattern. Sesto is available in quilts, continental and boudoir shams in Grey, Ivory, Leaf, or White.

Denina is a quilt that starts with an Italian-woven floral jacquard fabric, which is then quilted to create a simple, light, oh-so-elegant coverlet. This luxurious master bedroom quilt is made from pure Egyptian cotton, double-stitched with diamond quilting, and finished with a simple bound hem and four rounded corners. Denina is available in quilts in Honey or Ice.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is a lace inset?

Q:  What is a lace inset and how is it made?

A:  A lace inset is a piece of lace set into fabric as a decoration or trim.  The edges of the lace are sewn onto the base fabric, sometimes with a decorative stitch.  The base fabric behind the lace inset can then be trimmed away to create a lace inset window.  It is an intricate process that takes the skilled hands of an expert seamstress to create.

                             Below is an image of SFERRA's Millesimo
Below is an image of SFERRA's Francesca

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tips For Choosing Fine Linens


  • Prefer crisp, cool, smooth bedding? Choose plain weave bed linens such as batiste, voile, percale, or cambric. Plain weave fabrics are prone to wrinkling. To minimize ironing, dry on low temperature or a wrinkle release setting, removed promptly from the dryer, smooth flat, and fold.
  • Prefer soft, silky smooth, highly lustrous bedding? Choose sateen bed linens. Sateen wrinkles less than percale but due to the nature of the weave it is not as durable. To minimize ironing, dry on low temperature or a wrinkle release setting, removed promptly from the dryer, smooth flat, and fold.
  • Always cold? Choose cotton flannel or jersey bed linens for a warm and cozy bed. These two fabrics are the least prone to wrinkle. Wash and dry on warm temperature settings, remove promptly from dryer, smooth flat, and fold.
  • Prefer linens with natural temperature-regulating properties? Choose linen, silk, or rayon from bamboo bed linens.
    • Linen is highly absorbent and draws heat away from the body, keeping you cooler in the warmer months. It is also hypo allergenic, lint free, and naturally insect repellant. Crisp, smooth, and comfortable, linen becomes softer after every wash. One of the most durable fabrics, it can be washed in hot water, but to minimize wrinkles dry on low temperature or a wrinkle release setting, removed promptly from the dryer, smooth flat, and fold. Iron damp.
    • Silk is naturally porous and absorbent, keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is also resistant to mildew and moths. Silk can be machine washed in cool water, on a gentle wash cycle, with a delicate laundry detergent. To keep your linens from snagging on the inside of the washing machine, wash your silk bed linens inside of a mesh bag or cotton pillowcases. Tumble dry low or line dry.
    • Rayon made from Bamboo, is 1½ times more absorbent than cotton. Due to its natural ability to breathe, it wicks away heat and moisture in the warmer months and keeps you warm in winter. It has natural deodorant and anti-bacterial properties, which do not wash out over time. As rayon is prone to shrinking, follow all care instructions carefully.
  • Hate to iron? Select bed linens with a wrinkle resistant finish. The finish helps minimize wrinkles and does not wash out over time.
  • Have an extra thick mattress? Select a fitted sheet with extra deep pockets and an oversized comforter to allow for extra coverage on the sides of the bed.
  • Fitted sheets keep popping off the bed? Select a fitted sheet with elastic all around as this will allow the sheet to remain secure on your bed, even if you toss and turn before falling to sleep.

Monday, February 17, 2014

What is the difference between a fingertip towel & a hand towel?

Q: What is the difference between a fingertip towel and a hand towel?
A: A fingertip towel is a small-sized towel providing an easy convenience to dry hands and 'fingertips' quickly. It is smaller than a hand towel, yet larger than a wash cloth. A fingertip towel can be functional, decorative, or both. It can be laid on the countertop next to the sink, hung on a small towel rack, or draped over coordinating bath towels or hand towels, particularly in guest bathrooms. 
The fingertip towel adds a gracious touch to the home and can have multiple uses, especially those woven from linen. Linen is a highly absorbent, soft fiber which does not leave lint, making it the perfect cloth to dry fine crystal, prized silverware, and delicate china without scratching.  Linen fingertip towels are versatile—apart from making the perfect drying cloth, they can be also be used in the kitchen as a general utility towel, as a tea towel, or even to line a bread basket. 
Fingertip towels make excellent housewarming and hostess gifts. Their simple elegance also make them a nice option for engagement and wedding gifts as well, especially when appropriately monogrammed.
As an aside, traditionally, a fingertip towel was used at the formal dining table along with finger bowls: between courses, one would rinse fingers in the bowl and use the towel to dry their fingertips. However, in the present day, finger bowls have become less commonplace.