Living In Linen

April 10, 1994|By Elizabeth Large

In the last year or two, linen's uses have extended far beyond tablecloths. Designers are using it for draperies and slipcovers. Manufacturers are upholstering chairs and sofas in it.

When the experts explain linen's appeal, they usually talk about its "hand" -- that comfortable, almost sensual texture. People want their homes to have a warm, lived-in feel; you could argue that linen's soft wrinkles are a plus, not a minus.

There's an interest in ecology and natural looks. Linen's subtle, neutral shades have a casual elegance that sets just the right tone.

Surface is important. The chintzes that were so popular a few years ago are flat, in contrast to linen's weave.

Things that look old have a certain cachet these days. Washed linen seems comfortably worn and any linen has an old-time spirit to it.

Its major drawback -- those wrinkles -- isn't as much of a problem in upholstery weight or linen blends. Linen holds its shape and tailors well, which makes it a good choice for draperies. And linen is durable.

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