The first 100 people to subscribe to Selvedge this month will receive a linen bib apron from Volga Linen, a family run, British company designing and selling European linen products and a drawn thread work range made in Russia. Here, we talk to Volga’s founder, Theresa Tollemache about the business and her passion for natural textiles.
Why did you start Volga Linen?
Twenty-five years ago I started researching my Russian roots. Bringing home linen damask hand towels as presents, I stumbled upon the Russian flax industry which was still alive and still producing traditional quality linens for the home. Traditional crafts and techniques should be kept alive if they are of unique quality and particularly in Russia when during the Soviet years private initiatives were discouraged and so many traditions died.
I saw the opportunity to start my own business designing and importing bed and table linens and then gradually expanded to other items for the home and linen fabric by the metre. We create luxury goods made from sustainable fabric in classical designs for contemporary living.
Why are linens such an important part of the home?
Flax has been used for hundreds of years going back to the Romans who were the first to start using it at home. The flax plant is considered to be the most environmentally friendly plant in the textile industry which is a very good reason to use it for all household goods and it’s particularly useful for its insulating and absorption qualities. It is very versatile and can be woven and finished in many different textures and weights from fine sheer curtains to heavy textured twills and everything in between.
What do you have coming up in 2020?
We are introducing more prints from our 17/18th century Russian archive, these are designs unique to Volga Linen, and we are continuing to expand our plain weaves in new colourways inspired by natural vegetable dyes.
For more information visit www.volgalinen.co.uk