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Improve With Age.

Before mass production of terrycloth towels by Henry Christy in 1850, quality towelling was made of pure linen. A different weaving technique to bed linen was used to create a textured finish resulting in fabric which absorbed water faster. They are called huckaback towels and are still found in the country houses of Ireland and England.

In this photograph, the towel underneath was woven just a number of years ago. It travels with me everywhere...gym, holidays, beach, weekend house party. Light to pack, dries very quickly, naturally anti-microbial and always smells fresh. And the textured weave is the perfect skin exfoliant when you are drying after a bath or shower. No beauty products and chemicals on your skin required.

The smaller huckaback towel came from my grandmothers linen press in Northern Ireland and most likely passed down to her which makes it over 100 years young. Still in use today - in fact, that silky smooth lustre of well-crafted linen just gets better with age and never falls victim to the fashion of trend du jour. Something to be said for buying better, buying less and owning things which last.

Francis-M-Irish-Linen-Luxury-Bedding-Huckaback-Towels

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Queen Elizabeth II and a healthier sleep

While Irish linen is the preferred fabric at Buckingham Palace for its fineness of the woven cloth still achievable by Irish weavers, the Queen may be surprised that she pioneers a healthier night's sleep than those sleeping in fine luxury cotton.

Europeans have long-favoured Irish linen for their bedding because of its gossamer fineness, feel, tensile strength, durability and the fact that it lasts decades with very little care. However, with further investigation, this reputable cloth reveals itself to be remarkably high-tech and a far healthier way to get a good night's sleep.

Linen is highly hydroscopic and can rapidly absorb and yield 20% of its own weight in moisture while still feeling dry to the touch. When linen sheets are in contact with the skin, the nodes along the length of the fiber absorb perspiration, swell and then release the moisture to the outside air, thus being a wholly natural fabric self cooled by evaporation. As a result, linen is a popular choice for bedding in hot climates or during warmer seasons where the skin temperature can be 3°- 4°C lower than when sleeping in cotton or silk keeping you fresh and cool.

Sleeping in linen sheets is akin to bathing in natural antiseptic. Linen is naturally resistant to fungi, micro flora, mould and bacteria and therefore does not provide a breeding ground for these illness-causing pathogens. According to medical studies conducted by Japanese researchers, bed-ridden patients do not develop bedsores when linen sheets are used. Similar qualities were noted centuries ago when it was observed that wounds under linen dressing healed faster than under cotton.

Linen has a symbiotic and pampering relationship with the human body. It does not provoke allergic reactions, does not accumulate static and the crisp "rich wrinkle" known to the well-heeled and aristocracy for centuries caresses the body like no other fabric on earth.

"If you've not slept in our Superfine Irish Linen then I'll go as far as to say that you have not slept…" says young challenger brand FRANCIS M., and avid proponent of authentic Irish Linen which must be woven in his homeland of Ireland to be deemed the genuine article.

Linen sheets can easily be machine-washed at 90°C, may be boiled, dried in the sun and hot-ironed thereby ensuring maximum sterilization and the elimination of pesky critters such as dust mites.

"While the Queen has always appreciated that fine Irish Linen is extremely durable and made to last, I know that she will chuckle to find that she has been pioneering the way for better bedding. And in a way which has absolutely nothing to do with threadcount!".

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