The process behind our Custom Linen

Sample making with the new fall linens - here’s a peek of our new Biarritz Check Linen, arriving in September 2019.

Sample making with the new fall linens - here’s a peek of our new Biarritz Check Linen, arriving in September 2019.

All Pyne & Smith Linen fabrics are our own custom designs. Each linen is thoughtfully created after many hours of sketching, re-working, digital mock ups and final drafts.
Sometimes it’s really hard, and I end up starting from scratch, and sometimes it flows really well. Here’s a peek into our designing process.

The new Fall Linens was one of those hard, uphill battles that took weeks and weeks. Most designs start in my head, and then I sketch them out (Last year I bought a Airpad which has been amazing for drawing! I don’t waste paper and the various tools with the sketching app that I use mean that I can create texture on the drawings that look similar to linen.)

Sketching the designs & colors helps me determine what color looks best on which style. Lots and lots of drawing!

Sketching the designs & colors helps me determine what color looks best on which style. Lots and lots of drawing!

After creating potential new designs and colors, I try to bring the Linen designs to life - creating digital mock ups of the potential new Linens so I can really see how colors that are woven will look together. This is part of the process that takes weeks - very often the linen might not look how I want it to, the colors don’t blend well together, it’s too dull or it could be too overwhelming, or sometimes they just look perfect and I can move forward with bringing them to life.

A Digital mock up of how our designs will look before we decide on whether to order or not.

A Digital mock up of how our designs will look before we decide on whether to order or not.

Once I am happy with how the mock-ups look, I start to match them to dress styles, and this part is ever changing, right up until the cutter begins cutting them out into dresses!
I have to consider if a style is too similar to a previous style, will it work on a large area of linen, would I want to wear this, would it be too difficult to accessorize with shoes, boots, cardigans and jackets? After spending time decision making on which linens I will order (and this is the scary part, because I won’t actually know how well a linen will turn out until it is actually woven) I place the linen order, and the linen mill gets to work yarn dying the linen spools before it is woven.
Then the weaving takes place, and it’s around a 4-6 week process for this to be completed. I get notice from the mill that our linen is ready to ship, and it arrives two weeks later, ready to be cut into dresses.

Our linen design arrives! After months of dreaming, sketching, designing, it is finally here.

Our linen design arrives! After months of dreaming, sketching, designing, it is finally here.

Sometimes a color might be slightly different that we had created - and so I might switch dress style for one or two after seeing them in person. I then sample make each style to make sure that they look good and that I’m happy with the overall effect, and then dress production begins!