From Dirt to Table: Papillon Linen Napkins

From Dirt to Table: Papillon Linen Napkins

April 06, 2022

Many of our projects start from nature. Both of us are big nature lovers, and nature is incredibly inspiring. Our linen napkins are no exception. 

Our first design was the Seedling. At the time that Vernon discovered the plant, we didn't know much about it, just that we thought it was a cute shape and would be fun for a woodblock print. After doing some research, we learned that this little "weed" was in fact Bittercress, an edible plant! 

Papillon Press Linen Napkin LetterpressOne of our Seedling Linen Napkins coming off of the hand-carved woodblock. 2019.

Our second design is a Thistle. We released this one during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to us, it was a symbol of how beautiful things can be tough, and grow in hard places. 

Papillon Press Linen Napkin LetterpressHand-Carved Thistle woodblock in process. 2020.

We took a hiatus between the first and second sets, and part of that was due to the fact that we wanted to make sure that we did the second pair justice. We had a hard time deciding on what we wanted our images to be. We knew we wanted botanicals, and we knew we wanted a red/orange color scheme. Flowers just ended up making the most sense for this, and our Dahlia and Rose linens were created within a week of each other. 

Roses are such a significant flower in art, and especially carving. Vernon wanted to do something a little more traditional with these. He did a few preliminary drawings for them, but ended up following the wood for much of the carving process. 

Papillon Press Linen Napkin Letterpress
Color testing for the Rose linens, with hand-carved woodblock. 2022.

For the Dahlia design, Vernon used a few different varieties of Dahlia from Lorilyn's (Vernon's wife/Madeleine's mother) garden. Madeleine is getting married in September, and Lorilyn is growing all the flowers for the wedding, so these Dahlias are special to all of us. 

Papillon Press Linen Napkin LetterpressDahlia linen napkins being letterpress printed. 2022.

When we started making our linen napkins, we printed them using an antique book-press, one by one. Now that we have our Chandler & Price Letterpress, we print them using that. It's much faster, cleaner, and more consistent. All of our linens can be washed and dried, but it's best to iron them after drying if you prefer your linen without wrinkles. 


Thistle and Seedling Linen Napkins, folded. 2022.


Rose and Dahlia Linen Napkins, folded. 2022.

You can shop these at our online store or at any of our in-person events.



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