Jack Frost declares Winter war: fight back with flannel
Jack Frost? Wee Willie Winkie wants a word with you. It’s not enough your scribe’s domestic BTU usage means she is burning money faster than pound notes ignited on The KLF’s infamous bonfire. No, this morning Jack Frost laced London with a sheet of snow and for that there is only one affordable reprisal. Flannel.
When Master Winkie legged it through the streets of Edinburgh, he did so in a long flannel nightgown, the 19th century equivalent of a onesie. For those of us who don’t want descendants sniggering over our onesie Instagrams, the better route to warmth is a set of flannel sheets. Flannel comes in classic, updated, or cute. Avoid cute unless buying for a child or you fancy falling asleep counting flocks of fleecy lambs or ducklings.
German textile firm Westfalenstoffe weave a fine grade (535 threads per sq/cm), organic flannel in classic tartan patterns. Their UK representative Lesley Carr knows cold. She lives with her husband in a wee bothy in one of the highest and coldest places in the Scottish Highlands. Flannel is a necessity. “Westfalenstoffe flannels are nearly all made in Germany or Holland in bespoke ‘vertically integrated’ production factories” she says. Most are Oko-Tex Standard 100 certified, with a “sympathetic pH”, especially good for people with sensitive skin. Family owned since 1972, the original Westfalenstoffe was launched in the 1930’s by a collective of artists and sculptors, and some of their patterns are still manufactured by Westfalenstoffe. Classy and classic.
For those who want to snuggle under flannel sheets with a contemporary kick, the Loulou flannel collection by American designer Anna Marie Horner is the answer. “In the Clearing – Autumn” and “In the Clearing – Winter” (pictured above) are part of the collection, and while her designs have echoes of Paul Poiret, Werner Werkestatte and a fillip of Jan Kath’s fabulous “From Russia With Love” rug collection, her designs are inventive, original and covetable.
The collection’s fourteen designs range from “sweet to splashy”. The collection is available in the UK at Dragonfly Fabrics. Horner’s website includes free instructions to sew a flannel Log Mansion quilt (image below). And that is today’s task. Your scribe is sitting Jack Frost at her treadle sewing machine and instructing him on how to sew a flannel quilt. It’s the least he can do for bringing beautiful but unaffordable snow and wintry cold. DJ