Located in the heart of Horsham’s Carfax is The Linen Shop, a unique shop selling a range of high quality linen fabric designed by the owner, Fran White.
Fran, who started running the business from home in 1999, designs most of the goods in-store – the stock originates from three hand woven lengths of linen woven by Fran while at college.
Fran said: “You can’t get the fabric anywhere else. It has subtle colouring and it blends very well with all different styles and it’s multi-purpose and very accommodating.”
While studying woven and printed textiles at the University of Creative Arts, Farnham, between 1995 and 1998, Fran was approached by a well-known dress designer who expressed interests in her designs. This encouraged her to start producing her own fabrics industrially.
Fran said: “I found a mill in Northern Ireland which wove 30 metres of fabric without even meeting up with them!”
Fran traded from home for many years, targeting both retail and trade shows before setting up shop at home in 2003 and eventually moving to the high street in November 2012.
“The last few months have been excellent. We’ve won an award for best dressed window, which has got us a lot of publicity, and it’s even led to the recent exhibition at the museum which is about the inspiration behind my textiles and putting them into mass production.”
This exhibition runs in the craft gallery at Horsham Museum until Saturday (May 11) and Fran will be present at the museum between 11am – 12pm today (Friday, May 10) and Saturday (May 11) to talk about the textiles and answer any questions. There is also a display of archive clothing, paintings and linen rugs in their Costume Gallery which continues until the end of May and Fran will be available for guided tours.
As well as selling cloth, linen jackets and accessories, The Linen Shop has a curtain, blind, and soft furnishings service making cushions, tablecloths, bedspreads and lampshades. The shop advise on appropriate cloth to use, depending on the end use.
Fran added: “We do home delivery and send swatches out to people as well as loaning larger samples to try in your home. Because the linen is not mass produced we limit to five swatches.
“We also have my paintings for sale – these, and all of our products are available online at www.thelinenshop.biz.”
For more information you can visit the website or call 01403 243024, or pop in to the store at 18, Carfax, Horsham.