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.



My morning luxury.

By a long mile, my simple morning coffee is a small luxury that delights more than most things.  A growing second is this old-school brand of shaving cream formulated in 1948 by Proraso with eucalyptus oil and menthol. The bath towel is in our quick-dry, antibacterial, textured huckaback linen just develops more character, softness and patina with many years of good use. Perfect for travelling, spa, and gym. 



Is your bath towel making you sick?

Conventional fluffy cotton towels get wet. And while they may look clean, they often sit for days in warm, moist bathrooms collecting makeup, dust, dirt and dead skin particles which provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungal growth.

These infested damp towels can cause such problems as a bacterial infection like impetigo, fungal infection like tinea and bacterial build-up on the skin causing blemishes and acne breakouts. On a more serious note, viruses that can cause the cold, the flu, sores, pink eye, warts hide in towels. Not to mention more serious cases like MRSA and staph infections can spread through unsanitary towels.

"We have re-introduced the linen bath towel which is naturally resistant to fungi, micro flora, mould and bacteria and therefore does not provide a friendly breeding ground for these illness-causing pathogens. The towels can also 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."

If a bathroom is well ventilated, a cotton towel may dry out quickly after use, and the chance of bacteria or fungi surviving on that towel is lower. However, a towel more often than not takes hours to dry out because of the thick fluffy looped terry and that the bathroom is usually humid and maintains moisture. Then you are at higher risk of growing microbes in that towel. Linen towels, on the other hand, air-dry quickly.

"Irish Linen towels were always, and still are, found in the grand country houses of Ireland and England. Even on the Titanic as only the best linen would do.  Who would have thought all these years later we appreciate them for their health benefits?".

The FRANCIS M. linen towel is available in two sizes - a generously sized bath towel and smaller hand towel. The looser and larger weave produces an uneven surface and makes it highly absorbent and also gives a micro-massaging effect helping to exfoliate the skin and give the feeling of spa in your own bathroom. Being thin and lightweight, the linen towel is perfect for gym, travel, beach house and baby swaddling cloth. Available in the appropriately traditional broken white/ecru which will lighten and get softer with use. See for details.


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