Charlie’s Potatoes, Beaten Linen and the Golden Thread

The day we started writing this little newsletter a customer from Germany phoned us and asked: “Have you any of the beaten linen in stock?”

She meant beetle – finished cloth and not only could we answer her request positively – we told her she was the first person to learn about our new finished product which is based on the “beaten” stuff.

We have just completed a small range of table – napkins from beetle – finished hand – woven linen. They come in 6 packs and three different linens: A natural (very nice oatmeal – coloured) linen, one with a burgundy weft over a natural warp and one in black over natural.

There’s a good silky shine of all three cloths, they feel good and have a strong body to them. We only used Irish – spun yarn and the master of yarn-dyeing, Jeff Swan put the fine coloured touch to the raw material. The napkins (can be sold as single items too) make for a unique appearance of the good stylish dining table.

Taking tables and what should be on them: At this point we are going to introduce a product which is not from our own production and not made of linen or any other fabric. Good food is -napkins or not – the heart of any dining table. We don’t use any animal – products, so we need a lot of vegetables, grow as many as we can ourselves. The rest is bought in from people we know and who use no poisons in their gardening/farming. Charlie Mallon and Helen Keys grow potatoes which we would consider “in a league of their own”. Their “Sunbeams”, “Dunbar Standards”, or “Blacks” to mention but few have been glorious all year and still are.

If you want to contact the industrious pair before our Open Day on September 12th, where they will certainly have some of their good produce at their stall, just find them on the internet (“Mallon Linen” of “Mallon Foundry” will get you to them…). We are having some of Charlie’s spuds tonight. Mashed and with spinach from our own garden – a dinner – experience beyond compare!

Wherever your shuttle may fly
I wish a long life to your loom
I wish you the golden thread
That’s spun from the sun and the moon.

(from a Colum Sands song)

Since the secretary of the Ulster Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, Lorna Shannon, engraved this lovely bit of lyrics on a cutting board for us, I have the song very present – hung on the door of our conservatory.

When we made up the warp for my latest creation in linen, a check -patterned hand-woven fabric in earthy colours, I decided to run a fine golden stripe in the warp. It incorporates the beautiful song into our latest fabric which is going to come off the loom in a week’s time, limited edition as usual.


– I’ll be in Germany of a short while next month, a mix of business and a couple of private visits. We won’t close the mill though; Hermann and the small team will take charge.

– We are now almost 1 ½ years “car free”, the intention had been one year. But the fun is good (and so is the fitness) so we decided to go on for a while longer.
We have added a “new old” cycle to the fleet, besides my new (ish) Pashley, Hermann’s old Raleigh and the very unusual 1940s delivery bike (a Wearwell), our old tandem is back on its wheels. The 1968 Schauff – Velo has served us well in the 1990s and could not have been revived without the great help and searching for parts by our friends Pat and dan at the FACTORY BIKE SHOP in Castledawson.
If you come for a visit from now on and arrive by bus in Dungiven, a lift on the backseat of the tandem is on offer and our pleasure!

So much for now – I hope we’ll be in contact soon. In the meantime, check out our web – page, we are doing some work to it – many new product- examples should be visible from next week onwards.

Love over Gold


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