Why a Linen Picnic Blanket: The Lola Picnic Blanket

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One of the things Jerry, Hollis, and I are all about is a good picnic. We love putting together a great spread of salami, soft cheese, olives, bread, chocolate, and whatever else strikes our fancy and heading to the park for an afternoon of eating, playing, and spending time together. In fact, doing picnics is our favorite way to spend our time travelling, particularly in Europe. It saves a bit of money but, more than that, you get to experience all the amazing food of a country and kick back and relax in a beautiful spot. It’s truly the best of both worlds when it comes to travel and leisure.

As we considered the products we wanted to create for Fortnight and Fifty, the picnic blanket was always at the top of the list. We started down the road of sourcing the classic wool picnic blanket, which seemed like a great idea… Until June hit. Then we realized that a wool picnic blanket was maybe not such a good fit for Texas because we didn’t want to sell a product that would only be helpful for only two months out of the year.

So, we started brainstorming and, almost immediately, thought of linen. Linen is a natural fiber (made from flax) and its known for being easy to wear and wash as it resists wrinkles and is very breathable. Perfect.

Finding beautiful colors of 100% linen was pretty easy but when it came to actually designing the blanket, some problems arose. I had envisioned a blanket with a fringe that was made from pulling away some of the fibers of the fabric and then knotting them together. Our amazing seamstress said she could definitely do this and got to work. A few days later she called me and said I should come to her shop because there was a problem with the blanket. I went out and she explained that she could do the tasseling the way I wanted but, because of the tight weave of the fabric, it would take her several hours each blanket and cost upwards of $100 each (Yikes!).

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We had already decided that we wanted Fortnight and Fifty to be the kind of company that people can actually afford so the idea of a $150-$200 picnic blanket was not an option. So I started searching for a looser weave of linen. Then, I had an epiphany. Actually, the tight weave is super great for a picnic blanket because it will keep dirt and moisture from soaking through from the grass. So instead of changing the fabric, I found a fringe that I absolutely love. I took it out to our seamstress and the resulting picnic blanket just about knocked my socks off.

Along with the tight weave of the linen, the blanket has a triple seam, which is not only beautiful but also makes the blanket sturdy. There are no synthetic fibers involved because the blanket is 100% linen and the trim is 100% cotton. It washes without wrinkling when washed in cold water and then hung dry.

We’re so please with the blanket; both the product and the fact that it supports locals and is handmade. We can’t wait for our next picnic!

Check it out here.

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Jerry HodgeComment