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In conversation with Ruth Douglas from Heirlooms Linens

Photo of Ruth Douglas

We're delighted to announce our latest partnership with Heirlooms Fine Linens.

Located in the beautiful countryside of West Sussex, England. Heirlooms are one of the world's leading manufacturers of luxury bespoke bed, table and bathroom linens.

Heirlooms manufacture all of their luxury linen in-house using the finest Italian-woven fabrics and state of the art embroidery machines built to their own specification. 

We sat down with Ruth Douglas, Managing Director, to find out more about the company and its passions.

What sets Heirlooms apart as a company?

As well as having access to one of the largest ranges of good quality Italian woven fabrics, we have an incredible team of craftspeople. It is their skills, attention to detail and passion that really is second to none, and you can feel that in all our products. 

We are also a very approachable company, and have huge loyalty in how we collaborate and look after our clients.

What types of clients and projects does Heirlooms get to work on?

We are very fortunate to work on a diverse range of projects. Whether it's a palace complex, a superyacht, a classic sailing yacht, prestigious development like OWO and 20 Grosvenor Square to then working with ordinary clients who truly appreciate the quality of what we produce. With our wide range of fabrics we offer different levels of investment so our products are accessible to most people.

What are the key pieces that you always recommend clients invest in?

Spend the money on a good quality fitted sheet and pillowcases as those are the items which you lie on, which your body has the most interaction with and therefore the most wear.

What are the main characteristics that set quality linens apart?

The quality of the yarn is the key to the quality of the fabric. For cotton bed linens you absolutely need to have 100% cotton and to have long staple, which is our entry level fabric, or extra long staple which are the higher level fabrics. 

The longer the staple of the cotton the strong and more durable the yarn will be and therefore the better the fabric.

  • 100% cotton - so no mixing of inferior fibres

  • Long or extra-long staple

  • Quality control of the yarns to remove impurities

  • Airjet weaving provides a more durable fabric due to less stretching of the yarns, so great for entry level fabrics like our Essentials sateen

  • Thread count is misleading - some high street 1000tc are of a lesser quality than our 300tc sateen

  • Precision cutting - this ensures your product maintains its shape

  • Sewing skills - smaller stitches take longer but this ensures the quality and durability

  • Follow the care instructions - don't over dry your cotton in the tumble dryer - remember it is a fibre that needs to maintain an element of elasticity otherwise your fabric will feel brittle

How can people accent classic pieces to ensure their collections remain current?

We manufacture for a wide variety of nationalities all over the world, so the design really depends on the client's preferences.  However, we tend to find a lot of clients use fairly muted colours and then add accent colours to the bed linens and decorate with accent cushions and throws.

How have you seen the world of luxury interiors evolve over the years?

There's been plenty of positive factors involved with the change in luxury interiors. A huge change is how sustainability is now at the forefront of many designers' minds. From designers changing suppliers to ensure their sustainability practices and social responsibility is highly valued, so suppliers sourcing new and innovative materials such as mushroom and seaweed to be used for products and finishing surfaces.

Sustainability has now become a hallmark for luxury, and using natural elements emphasises a connection between the outdoors and indoors to create a sense of serenity. This promotes wellbeing and tranquillity which are much needed priorities in today's economic climate and uncertainty.

Where can we see you out and about this year?

We were at Dusseldorf in January, then headed to the Dubai Boat Show which was hugely successful. We work with the yacht manufacturers and interior designers within the region so it was great to further develop our collaborations there.

There will be various events and seminars for Walpole and the Royal Warrant Holders Association which Heirlooms are members of. I recently attended the RWHA AGM at St. James's to hear the amazing work the Association has undertaken over the year and that of QEST and the Charitable Fund which we as warrant holder support. 

In between events, we will also be out and about visiting in the south of France as the Med season gets underway. After the summer, Cannes kicks off the boat show season, followed by Southampton whereby we support our clients at the shows. The Monaco Yacht Show at the end of September is always a highlight, and we design a completely new capsule range each year showing our amazing creativity and manufacturing skills. This is closely followed by Decorex in October.

What product trends have you seen emerge recently?

Currently, the world is living and indulging in a multi trend era, but at Heirlooms we don't focus heavily on trends. For us, it is important not to get caught up with producing product to appeal to customers that are focusing on trends which will age quickly, but instead remind our customers that we create timeless and long lasting product. This is because of our responsibility to being a sustainable company, we do not take part in the fast fashion culture. It's hard to say which of our own products are trending currently as we create products that are individual to the client, and all of our clients are unique.

However, focussing on emerging trends, we particularly love the 'Coastal Grandma' trend and it emulates a quiet luxury that is a pause in time, promoting a desire to connect with nostalgia and stability.


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