Textiles are Crops
Chef Ari Miller and I were introduced at a farmers market in Olde City. He looked at my products and asked for the story behind what I make from the linen fabrics and reclaimed textiles. I told him how I believed that fiber is a crop, just like food, and that textile choices are an important part of a sustainable lifestyle. I also shared how my source of inspiration sprang from urban vegetable farms that practice community sourced agriculture and how I seek to create a line of textiles that is as equally viable for the environment as organic, urban food production. Our conversation seeded an idea for restaurant use of our napkins and aprons.
This circular economy idea is really the core of the Kitchen Garden Series output. When considering the output of my business, I want to support the idea that textile production doesn't have to be an environmentally destructive force. Natural fibers can be part of a diversified, sustainable, and organic farm. The same growers that produce your food can benefit from producing the raw materials for your napkins. My favorite fiber crop, flax, is grown for its beauty and practicality as well as a food and industry source crop, tolerates a range of soils, and requires little irrigation, fertilizer or pesticide use. According to the Flax Council of Canada, flax can even make a good ‘disease break’ in crop rotation in farming. Humans have a long history with the flax plant and linen knotted twine has even been found in early human archaeological digs dating from 30,000 years ago. Fabrics such as linen are frequently part of a regenerative agricultural system, can be composted when spent, and biodegrade much more quickly than fabrics made from plastic such as polyester or acrylic. Linen fabric is clearly one of the most durable, beautiful, absorbent materials and its production is much less taxing on the environment than synthetic fiber production. Linen also happens to have anti-bacterial and stain-resistant qualities making it perfect for use with food in restaurants or in your own kitchen.
All of our textiles at the Kitchen Garden Series began as crops. We use fabrics such as reclaimed cotton, deadstock remnants, and vintage hemp blends along with linen. We are very proud and excited to share our napkins with you as we help Chef Ari Miller bring another crop to the kitchen and to the table at his Philadelphia restaurant, Musi.