As we have seen at overseas trade fairs this year, black is the new… black. In line with this trend French Consul recently launched its black grain sack stripe range including tea towels, table runners and cushion covers.
The collection is made of 100 per cent French linen flax, Irish woven and handcrafted, and has been picked up by some of the most beautiful stores around Australia (Suzie Anderson Home, Camargue, Manteau Noir, Shades of Pale), the US (including a New York Pop Up), New Zealand, Singapore and the UK.
French Consul founder, Karen Miles, spent a lot of time in Paris and Provence looking for linen tablecloths and cushion covers with a classic French ‘grain sack’ stripe. Grain sacks were once widely used by farmers across Europe to identify their grains when they sold them at market―each family had their own colour and stripe pattern on their grain sacks.
“I couldn’t find the products anywhere, or even the fabric or antique versions to make up for my own home,” she explains.
“Not being able to find the French grain sack products here in Australia, and knowing that so many women covet the designs, I knew there had to be a gap in the market I could fill.
“I wanted to provide an accessible price point and a regular local source for Australian retailers and we’ve done that... I also love that our linen flax is grown in France, loomed in Ireland by one of the last standing family-run linen mills, and hand cut and sewn in Ireland and Australia.”
After working on creating the label for six months, French Consul was launched in March last year. She sources her fabric, which is certified, from Europe (linin is grown in France and woven in Ireland) and all products are hand cut and sewn in Australia and Ireland, keeping artisan small businesses alive and their skills treasured in people’s homes.
“We’re seeing a real change from cheaply made products to more and more customers valuing well made products, handcrafted, and Australian made. French Consul products are certified―they are made from 100 per cent French flax Masters Of Linen and European Flax certified and meet the human-ecological requirements of the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX and are woven in Ireland and Irish Linen Guild certified.
“Ethics aren’t a nice-to-have anymore, there’s a groundswell of people who want to know where products are made and I’m so glad to be part of that shift back to quality manufacturing. Every French Consul product purchase supports farmers, artisans and fabric weavers in France, Ireland, England and Australia.”
Want to read more? Check out the full article in our Home & Living digital magazine, which is out now!