pictured: Filice by SDH
pictured: Dessia by Sferra (pictured with SDH Filice)
pictured: Posetti by Sferra
pictured: Plumes by Yves Delorme
pictured: Giza 45 Quatrefoil by Sferra
Are you preparing to host for the holidays? This is a friendly reminder that custom table linens take time, and deadlines are approaching!
Here are some approximate holiday deadlines:
CHRISTMAS October 19th
(Festival table linens are available in your choice of 101 colors. Popular colors, collections and sizes may be available up until last minute.)
THANKSGIVING October 23rd
CHRISTMAS November 21st
(All napkins and some placemats can be ordered as runners and tablecloths)
THANKSGIVING October 11th
CHRISTMAS November 20th
(SDH Leitner offers an extensive line of linen table linens made custom to order. Select SDH bedding fabrics can also be purchased as table linens.)
THANKSGIVING October 25th
CHRISTMAS November 26th
(In terms of fabric, color, embroidery and dimensions – Barbacci offers more options than anyone else.)
THANKSGIVING October 24th
CHRISTMAS November 28th
(“Le Jacquard” offers a line of fashionable, contemporary table linens made in France. Custom sizes may require a longer wait.)
Did you know that we have increased our in-stock selection of Sferra to include more decorative pieces than ever before? Below are some of the newer collections that we currently have on our floor, as well as a first look at some of the new Fall ’18 additions that Sferra just announced.
pictured: Larro Cuff
Tuesday, March 4th The Linen Tree will be hosting a one-day sale and trunk show. Royal-Pedic mattresses & Sferra Milos linens – choice ingredients to a Royal night of sleep – will be 10% off. Tom Sarkela, a representative from Royal-Pedic, will be on hand to present the Royal-Pedic line.
For those less familiar with Royal-Pedic, this is the company that has made mattresses for at least six US Presidents, including John F Kennedy who insisted on sleeping on a Royal-Pedic wherever he traveled. It is also the company who manufactured a custom 120″ x 120″ mattress for Wilt Chamberlain, who instructed eight deliverymen to take his mattress away if it wouldn’t fit through his doorway. Founder Abe Kaplan had moved to Los Angeles from Britain, where his employer supplied the Royal Family (with mattresses) at the time. All Royal-Pedic mattresses are made by hand and are generally chemical free.
Royal Pedic’s Royal-Flex innerspring unit is the finest offset coil spring system available. It contains far more coils than is standard, making it ultra-sensitive to body contours. Each coil is double-heat tempered to enhance durability and provide for years of sag free use.
The Royal-Flex innerspring unit is often surrounded by finely harvested natural materials including long staple, American grown cotton; natural 100% talalay latex harvested from sustainable plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia; untreated lamb’s wool from New Zealand, a temperature regulating material; and lanolin, a natural dust mite repellant.
The All Cotton Mattress – Royal-Pedic’s trademark mattress known for its firm, orthopedic support, contains more than fifty pounds of premium cotton padding in addition to a Royal-Flex innerspring unit. Natural materials ventilate body heat and provide greater durability.
The All Cotton mattress is too firm for some, but can be made just right with any combination of pillow-tops or quilt-tops. Here, an All Cotton mattress is pictured with a Royal-Cloud Pillowtop Pad. This combination is a best-seller at The Linen Tree.
The Royal Latex Mattress features an all-latex core instead of a Royal-Flex innerspring unit. This innovative mattress core was designed based on sleep studies at the Kirshgarten Clinic in Basel, Switzerland. It is different than other latex mattress cores – not just because of the quality of latex, harvest, and manufacture – but because it is shaped by seven distinct firmness zones. This allows for perfect body contour without sacrificing the firm, resilient support provided by natural talalay latex.
Tom (from Royal-Pedic) will be in the store from about 11 am – 5 pm on March 4th. The sale will go all day long (10-6). Don’t forget that we will be offering 10% off Sferra Milos bedding too. As Royal-Pedic mattresses are one of the finest quality mattresses one can sleep on, Milos sheets are one some of the finest quality sheets one can sleep on. They feature a 1,020 thread count. Usually we would caution against putting too much stock in thread count, but Milos sheets feature the best of all worlds. They are carefully woven utilizing 100% Extra Long Staple (Giza 70) Egyptian Cotton. Read more about that here.
One of the great things about our store is that we offer so many different items from a variety of artisans, importers, and other interesting outfits. It means that no matter your tastes, you can find the perfect accessories to set your home apart. But we can’t stock everything, and custom ordered (and especially custom made) products take time. Therefore if you are looking forward to being the ulitmate hostess this holiday season, the best time to prepare is now; special table settings require special order.
Just in case you didn’t feel like looking through a mound of catalogs, we wanted to share some of our suggestions for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and also Hannukah oriented place settings and components. The items pictured below are items that can generally be purchased from The Linen Tree, even though we do not stock many of them. Some are seasonal items, designed specifically for the fall. Others are accidentally holiday-friendly (and can also be used year round). When available, click on each image for a larger image.
photo courtesy of meredithandthenewyorkie.com.
A representation of the prestigious tradition of textile printing established in Alsace (France) during the reign of Louis XV, Beauvillé table linens are famous for their sumptious colors, which are enhanced by the decadence of fine cotton satin. These sumptious table linens, special ordered direct from France (please note that minimum order requirements may apply), shine brightest come the holidays. Pictured below, Beauvillé Avignon is a quintessential Christmas-friendly pattern that can be used year round:
This is my personal favorite for the fall months (my name is Bill, by the way, I help to manage the store’s website). Beauvillé’s Mon Village is great for Thanksgiving and the fall months in general, yet it contains just the right amounts of festive red and refined green in order to spread the holiday spirit oh so subtly.
Are you are pleased with your existing, neutral tablecloth or the equivalent? Add some beautiful Beauvillé Ponte Vecchio table runners to the mix. Table runners can negate the need for placemats, too!
photo courtesy of touchoffrance.com.
Or perhaps you are looking for something less conventional and more unique? Featuring the same fabric and embroidery of the identically named bedding collection, Bella Notte‘s Olivia tablecloths come available in your choice of seventeen colors, including an indulgent “Bordeaux” red (although, the pattern is pictured below in Perfect Peach). Oh, and if you would really like to go all out, feel to add the matching linen curtains as well…
Placemats & Napkins (and more tablecloths)
Sferra is The Linen Tree’s best selling brand in the bedding arena. Their sheets usually feature extra long staple Eqyptian cotton expertly woven in Italy. However, they produce a full line of table linens, too, including these seasonal selections:
In the mood for something simpler, or you need something more versatile? Sferra Festival table linens (tablecloths, placemats, and napkins) feature 100% pure linen woven in Italy. With your choice of 101 colors (yes you did read that right), you are sure to find the perfect shade(s) for your tastes and your table.
Or, for those looking for an especially unique, festive placemat, look no further than Sybaritic. Branelli placemats – one is pictured below in Bronze with bronze bead trim (it’s all we had to photograph) – can be purchased in a metallic green shade, with red lace trim. Or, you can choose silver bead trim for a more versatile placemat. And you can choose from nearly twenty shapes and sizes, too. We have yet to see anyone order these placemats in Green with red lace trim, but we are curious to see what would result!
For a more Hannukah friendly Sybaritic placemat, we suggest Boa placemats in Marine Blue with metallic bead trim.
Lastly, Silk Velvet placemats from Bella Notte (a plush combination of silk and velvet) feel, and look, luscious. They are available in your choice of seventeen colors, including Bordeaux red, although the one below is pictured in White. Satin Velvet placemats are available, too.
For those looking for a cutting edge table, I personally love this translucent green tableware by Annieglass. It is handmade in California.
For a winter-specific look, Annieglass’ B.C. dinnerware presents a frosted appearance reminiscent of a refreshing winter breeze.
And for more similar options, check out Fire & Light tableware, handmade from recycled glass, also in California. I personally prefer the Annieglass tableware but Fire & Light seems to be the more poular choice of late.
Something more traditional, yet just as unique: Crimson on Bronze tableware from Alice Goldsmith Ceramics (handmade in NYC) features a shade of red that is inviting enough for the holiday table and yet refined enough for any table. I believe it is also available in Crimson on White.
Red and Green tableware can also be found within the all-season collections of Vietri and Juliska, two brands which have long been popular with our customers here at The Linen Tree. Our favorite, Juliska’s Berry and Thread:
Juliska and Vietri also have seasonal, holiday specific collections. We usually stock Vietri’s holiday dinnerware…
…but Juliska’s holiday collection is a bit more refined and a better fit for non-Christmas tables. Juliska also offers Christmas tree ornaments, by the way.
Of course, there is never anything wrong with traditional white dinnerware. And if you decide to go this route, we carry a variety of options, including Bernardaud‘s Chef Collection. This is James Beard Award winning tableware that you will find in many five star hotels and restaurants, and it will last longer than imitations you will find elsewhere. While we usually have a lot of whiteware in stock, these Bulle and Foglia teapots are two of the more interesting options available by way of special order.
Packaged to perfection, these cookies look great on any Christmas table. Although, once your guests try one, they will no longer be neatly packaged. We do stock them come December, but it doesn’t hurt to order them in bulk in case we run out. Leftovers make great hostess gifts.
They might not taste as good, but Vermont Evergreens from Simon Pierce – handblown in Vermont – make an outstanding, versatile decorative accent.
photo courtesy of dinnerseries.com.
For a more classicly elegant look, ceramic jars, bottles, and more from Red Label are particularly unique. They are made to order in Mexico (please note, minimum order requirements may apply on special orders). Some miscellaneous selections from the line….
For those who celebrate Hannukah, they probably don’t realize that we offer a full line of Judaica from brands such as Bernardaud (imported from France) and Patrick Meyer Studio (handcrafted in California). Patrick Meyer’s Tree of Life menorah:
Jan Barboglio also offers many elegant candleabras, some of which could be used as menorahs. Celebrating the rustic western feeling of old Spanish iron, they will fit well with almost any holiday table.
photo courtesy of swede.typepad.com.
For the rest of us, these are some great looking Festivus Poles, even if they stray from tradition. Although, we do not sell them and we are not even sure who manufactured them. Credit to A-Cero.
photo courtesy of designconceptideas.com.
Did you know that The Linen Tree has its own floral studio, situated locally here in Scottsdale? That means that we can work with you to help you determine the perfect floral arrangements to put an exclamation mark on your holiday table. From greens to succulents to roses and more, just about any floral arrangement can be made custom to order. When possible we like to use real dried flowers imported from exotic locales in France, Africa, and beyond. Others boast the finest silk from one of twenty different vendors, ensuring the perfect silk for the perfect arrangement. They are maintenance free and will last forever.
Last but not least, napkin rings make smart purchases because they are not only a potentially integral part of a holiday table, but they can then be used year round as an easy means to add just a touch of glamour to any ordinary place setting. Napkin rings from Deborah Rhodes and Dransfield & Ross are staples at The Linen Tree. Dransfield & Ross’ Christmas napkin rings are particularly festive…
Deborah Rhodes’ Burst and Beaded Wire Cuffs napkin rings are better suited for year-round use.
Not as popular, braided napkin rings from Sybaritic are my favorite for the holiday table. As with all Sybaritic, they are made to order in New York.
Our annual white sale begins tomorrow! Every item inside our store will be at least 20% off, with select items marked down as much as 75%. Doors open at 10 am, Friday July 13th. It is the only time of year that all of our merchandise is on sale, and is a great time to shop for fall wedding gifts.
We have a lot of bedding in stock from Sferra & Peacock Alley, many towels in stock from Abyss, and much more. As always, shop early for the best selection.
Many of our first-time customers walk into our store looking for high thread count sheets. If only it were that simple, our job would be much easier! So, we figured that we would try to lay everything out for whomever may be interested.
The sheets we sell at The Linen Tree generally fall into one of three base categories: Linen, Cotton, and what we call “New Age.”
Linen “linens” feature, well, actual linen – which is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum Usitatissimum. Linen has traditionally been considered the crème de la crème of textiles; for ages it was the clear choice of royalty, and its use can be traced back to ancient Egypt. In fact, when the tomb of the Pharaoh Ramses II was discovered in 1881, the linen wrappings covering him were in a state of perfect preservation, despite that they were more than 3000 years old.
In modern times, cotton has surpassed linen in popularity, as cotton requires less effort to grow and manufacture well, is less prone to wrinkles, and feels softer and smoother at first touch – a versatile middle ground between pure linen and slippery silk. But those who have slept on linen sheets do know the benefits. Linen is highly absorbent and is a good conductor of heat, and as such it stays cool and fresh to the touch under almost any condition. Linen also resists dirt and stains, has no lint at all, and can be dry cleaned, machine washed, or steamed. It gets softer over time.
Linen is also very strong, in fact it’s probably the strongest vegetable fiber known. It is stronger than wool, nylon, rayon, and almost three times as strong as cotton – in the middle ages it was even used to make shields. Like cotton, linen can be woven in different manners that create different textures, and perfecting sheet quality depends on perfecting harvest and manufacture techniques.
More popular in Europe today than in the United States, it is not uncommon for our customers to inquire about linen sheets after sleeping on them for the first time at a European hotel.
Whisper Linen, a loosely woven 100% linen collection from Bella Notte, is about as classic as classic gets
Nancy Koltes’ Linen Bruges employs a crepe texture to subtly enhance both the look and feel of 100% pure Italian linen
Whenever you hear the phrase “thread count,” generally it is referring to cotton sheets. So, you ask, the higher the thread count, the better, right? Not really. Contrary to popular belief, the quality of a sheet is at best loosely related to its thread count; a fine quality 200 thread count sheet will often feel much more luxurious than most 1,000 thread count sheets.
When push comes to shove, sheet quality and feel is most directly related to: where and how cotton is grown; how that cotton is woven; and the length and thickness of each fiber. Different finishing techniques can also be employed to accomplish a desired result. The most common finishes include: sateen, which pushes as many continuous threads as possible to the sheet surface in attempts to emulate the smooth, lustrous qualities of satin; percale, which utilizes a traditional basket weave in order to emulate the strength and breathability of pure linen; and jacquard, a strong and resilient finish that allows for the creation of woven patterns by individually arranging the warp (lengthwise) threads. Now, once you know how a sheet has been woven, how can you judge the quality of a cotton sheet?
It starts with the cotton. Egyptian cotton is widely regarded as the finest cotton in the world, and sheets that are woven from Egyptian cotton tend to be extra soft, supple, and smooth – with two major caveats. For one, a sheet only needs to consist of just 2% Egyptian cotton for it to be advertised as an Egyptian cotton sheet. For two, not all Egyptian cotton is equal.
Along the hot, dry desert of the Sahara, the Nile has created an oasis that enjoys extraordinary weather conditions; the two extremes combine to create the perfect storm, ideal for producing the world’s best cotton – referred to as Giza cotton. All Giza cotton is assigned a number, the smaller the better as smaller numbers correspond with longer staples and stronger, finer threads. This allows for better continuity from thread to thread, and it significantly reduces the chances that yarns will break and fabrics will pill.
The best varieties of Giza cotton include Giza 45, Giza 70, Giza 87 and Giza 88 cotton; each of these cottons boast staples which are longer than 33 millimeters, and are recognized as indisputably the best cotton in the world. Giza 45 cotton in particular is grown exclusively in a small region called Kafir S’AD, responsible for only 0.4% of Egypt’s overall cotton production. Traditionally so fine that it could only be used in the manufacture of men’s dress shirts, Sferra has recently launched a line of Giza 45 bedding, resulting from two years of research and development.
Giza 86, Giza 89, and Giza 90 cottons also boast high quality, but are not definitively better than Pima cotton, grown in the Southwestern United States and accounting for about 5% of annual American cotton production. Egyptian cotton grown outside of Giza does not offer particularly special quality.
Of course, it is not all about the type of cotton. The manner by which cotton is harvested affects quality; if cotton is harvested carefully, and by hand, defoliants and other chemicals normally used in mechanical harvesting can be avoided. And even where cotton remains pure, cotton bolls can still become polluted with other fibers. It is the expertise applied to the manufacturing process – involving careful hands-on oversight often in conjunction with cutting edge technology – which allows manufacturers of fine linens to remove residual contaminants from the yarn spun, and to ensure proper results.
Lastly, all else equal, thread count is not a bad thing. But, there are techniques that low-end manufacturers use to artificially inflate thread count. And, particularly where long staple cotton is utilized, high thread counts are unnecessary. A thread count in the 150-250 range is often sufficient to meet most people’s needs. Anything more adds strength to the cotton while resulting in a softer, silkier feel – but it also results in a heavier sheet, which is not always desirable.
Celeste is Sferra’s best selling bedding collection, despite a relatively modest thread count of 406. These percale sheets stay cool and crisp all while boasting a chamois-like softness
Pratesi bedding has become known as an ultimate status symbol for a reason. The Pratesi family has the oldest contracts in Egypt, which allows it to be ultra-selective regarding the cotton it purchases
New Age bedding
While the linens industry has traditionally been dominated by cotton and linen, suitable bedding can be made from almost any material. For discriminating consumers looking for a more unique bedding solution, there is a variety of options – bamboo, flannel, velvet, and amongst other options, you can’t forget silk and satin.
Contrary to media portrayals, many people are not fans of silk sheets, and satin sheets. They may feel luxurious, but they are also slippery and boast additional imperfections; for example silk is a very thin material and satin is not very breathable. Luckily these advantages can be overcome as a result of modern research, development and creativity. Select bedding collections from SDH, Bella Notte and Peacock Alley for example, employ silk mixed with cotton, linen, and more to help mask the material’s imperfections. SDH’s Torino Stripe, for example, employs a nearly 50/50 silk and linen mix, where a silky, satin-esque surface contrasts both tactically and visually with wide stripes consisting of a soft, linen-esque surface; the silk adds a touch of luxury while the linen extends added strength, breathability, and grip.
The most popular “new age” sheets that we sell at The Linen Tree are courtesy of SDH’s Legna line of bedding. The sheets are woven from 100% Italian wood pulp. They tend to be an easy sell after the first touch, as they feel about as soft and silky as any sheet not woven from silk or satin. They are also respectably cool and comfortable, and are as easy to care for as cotton sheets.
A favorite amongst our customers, SDH Legna bedding, made from wood pulp, seamlessly blends the soft and silky nature of, well, silk with the familiar ease of cotton.
Bella Notte’s Satin Velvet collection boasts a refined rayon-based Satin on one side, reversing to a cotton velvet on the other
The final decision, what to buy?
Ultimately, there is no “best” sheet, there is only the best sheet for you. Read all you want about sheets, it is important to feel before you buy. We encourage anyone to swing by our store and sample the many swatches we have on our floor. Not local? Request swatches here – when possible we ship swatches free of charge as a courtesy to our customers.