For the current issue of Selvedge, writer Eleanor Flegg delved into the life of linen in Ireland today, highlighting William Clark and Sons as one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and few remaining linen mills. Although this company holds traditional craft as one of its core values, it has also recently begun to embrace modern technology for the better, launching a new range of digitally printed linen inspired by the Clady River, titled “Earthed by William Clark”. William-Clark-220-2-3-1024x684 With extensive experience designing clothing for high-end fashion brands such as Burberry and Savile Row tailors, this is the first time in the linen mill’s history that William Clark and Sons has ever ventured into the world of homeware. Inspired by how the Clady River has given so much life to Upperlands in county Londonderry, this collection explores how early pioneers of technology at Clark’s harnessed water to drive both this industry and the natural life that surrounds it. Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 12.43.35 In the past, the workers at Clark’s have traditionally used screen-printing techniques to colour their linen, where each desired colour required a different screen to be printed onto the fabric. For their seven new designs made for drapes and upholstery, founder Duncan Neil explained that “with digital printing, the ink just falls on top of the fabric, so it is more difficult to get the same concentration for large areas of flat colour”. Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 12.43.48 With a range of colours and patterns that evoke familiar glimpses of nature (from rocks and trees to grasses and rivers), “Earthed by William Clark” offers a fresh design made by one of the most forward thinking technologies in textiles. “Our designs and colour palettes” Neil explains, “have been created to invoke positive emotions and create striking spaces with a contemporary twist on traditional Irish linen”.

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