This past week, Katy Elliot stopped by for a tour of the mill. Katy met a ton of the crew including David Kaufman (owner) and Claudia Brahms (founder and lead designer). David took Katy through the mill and showed her how we do what we do: from start to finish.
It sounded like Katy enjoyed her stay at Brahms Mount, and we certainly enjoyed having her in! She took a number of gorgeous photographs, but here are a few of our favorites. For more about her trip, check out the post she created after her visit.
The art of weaving has been apart of many major cultures around the world for centuries. From Ancient civilizations to Native American traditions to the Industrial Revolution, weaving has been an important form of artistry that ties into the very economic structure of many major societies.
Linen was used for mummification by Ancient Egyptians, as well as for currency.
Weighted warp looms (vertical looms) were used by Europeans in the 10th and 11th centuries to weave their thick, warm wool garments. Weaving was a local craft in Europe until later into the Middle Ages, when finer fabrics and better technology made weaving a more sought-after craft.
In the early 12th century, the Muslim world gave a significant gift to modern day looming: foot pedals. Hand weaving persian rugs has been important to many Islamic tribes, even in modern days.
After the invention of the flying shuttle in the 1730′s during the Industrial Revolution, the speed of weaving increased significantly.
Cotton, died with pigments, were woven by Southwest Native American tribes (including the Pueblo). What became known as Navajo blankets, these intricate woven tapestries were eventually used in trade as garments and rugs in the late 1800′s.
Modern day shuttleless looms, invented in the mid-1900′s, boast speeds up to 2,000 weft insertions per minute.
At Brahms Mount, we continue to use traditional shuttle looms, which produce approximately 50 inches of material per minute. Brahms Mount is one of only a handful of U.S. mills left weaving top of bed textiles, and the only mill left in North America weaving Linen.
As the only mill in North America left weaving linen, this fiber is particularly special to us. For most people, there is a poor perception of what a linen blanket is. In many ways, Martin Raymond – lecturer, writer, and Lifestyle analyst – said it best when he wrote “The Flax of Life: In love with Linen?”:
Linen’s best kept secret lies in its versatility. And in many ways this has also been its downfall. There are still too many people who imagine it to be like the linen of their youth – tough, papery and never seeing a crease it didn’t like.
Quite the contrary of its traditional bad name, linen is quite soft and suple – a fabric that actually continues to soften with every wash. In fact, Raymond goes on in his article to explain:
Linen that can be machine washed, tumble dried, coated with silicon or mixed with jersey, viscose, Tactel, Tencel, silk or hemp to improve performance, durability or drape. Indeed, new generations of linen can cling to the body with a fit that’s every bit as smooth and sensual as the naughtiest of bias-cut dresses.
And to leave you with a little something: he may say it a bit more eloquently than we, but as Martin Raymond suggests, linen can be easily repressed and “uncrinkled” quickly:
Finally, if like me you have no time for such Teutonic diversions with iron and water spray, remember linen is a fabric the young and old forgive alike. Once in a Pall Mall club, as dead as many of its members, I heard an old gent tut-tut as the man ahead of me passed through into the bar with a creased blazer. ‘No respect, no respect!’ Prepared for my equally rumpled linen suit to attract the same slash and burn criticism, I was relieved to hear him mutter, ‘Ah now, linen, well that’s different.’ And it is.
They may be loud, but our antique shuttle looms are a thing of history. Compared to more modern looms that are able to do up to 2,000 weft insertions per minute, our traditional looms create about 50 inches of material per minute.
At Brahms Mount, we’re proud to be one of only a handful of U.S. mills left weaving top of bed textiles, and the only mill left in North America weaving Linen.
It’s no secret that we love our linen, but cotton also holds a special place at Brahms Mount. With 100% cotton blankets available in colors, naturals, and whites, you can’t go wrong with comfortable and stylish cotton. Woven with North Carolina’s finest crop, our cotton blankets are light, bright, and colors won’t fade or bleed in the wash. Simply choose the color and design that’s right for you and your home!
Not only do we sometimes have to create extra spools for the creel, but we also have to create bobbins for the loom. Like our other machine, this one is specially designed to automatically measure how much of the fiber we need.
When you have 600 combs (or spools of yarn) to fill, sometimes there just aren’t enough for the job. That’s why we have a handy dandy machine at our disposal. It takes the larger combs and re-spools it into a smaller, more manageable comb.
The machine will measure exactly how much of the fiber you need. In order to create a full set of 600 combs, it is a full 8 hours worth of work!
Beige can get boring, especially in the heat of the summer. But you don’t have to completely redesign your room to add a little color. Here are a few quick and easy ways to add some color – and great focal points – to your home.
A change in paint color will quickly and easily change the feel of a room. The great news? A can of paint is inexpensive, and the biggest cost is your own time. If you’re feeling a little abstract, try painting only one wall for a great focal point.
Adding a few colorful pillows on your couch, chairs, or even the floor will brighten up a room in an instant. Throw pillows are a really easy way to change the look and feel of your room depending on the season, so feel free to change these pillows out, come fall!
Getting a cool, funky lamp can brighten (pardon the pun) your room immediately. Lamps are a great way to show off your personality – be it vintage, modern, eclectic, or classic. Like throw pillows, you can easily change out the lamp shade depending on the season.
Even if you have a carpet in the room already, adding a throw rug is a great way to add color to a room and to an unusual focal point: the floor.
Piece of art
It’s no surprise adding a piece of art to your wall can add a color and make a quick change to the feel of a room. But here’s a DIY tip you may not have thought of: try buying a great piece of wallpaper and covering a canvas. That way, you can fully customize your wall art, and for only a few dollars!
Last, but certainly not least, a blanket – draped over the back of a chair or on a bed – is one of the easiest way to add color to your room. Plus, there is the added benefit of keeping you warm and cozy on a cool night! For some colorful blanket styles, be sure to check out our day blanket collection.
Day blankets are apart of Brahms Mount’s exquisite line of oversized throws that have delighted our customers for years. Each is perfect, whether it’s to throw in the car or on the couch, and most importantly to throw on your shoulders and snuggle in. With Brahms Mount’s variety of patterns, natural fibers and vibrant color palettes, there is sure to be a day blanket, personal and perfect, for everyone.
Ever spent time in the sand with a small beach towel and left without being covered in sand? We’d love to know your secret! Our day blankets are perfect for the beach – they won’t hold in the heat, they’ll cover a large area, and will stay soft and comfortable.
Need a little cover for those windy boat trips? Need a comfier place to sit? Look no further than a day blanket: perfect for a few friends or family to sit on, or to cover up the little ones when they get chilly. And don’t worry if these blankets get splashed – they’ll dry out in no time!
Ever sit on the plane next to someone who’s cozy and comfortable, covered in a great blanket? That could be you! Take the blanket off the plane and enjoy it throughout your entire trip – day blankets are easy to pack in a bag for the day, whether you’re sight seeing or on business.
You’ve probably never thought a day blanket would be perfect for exercise, have you? Think again. Soft and comfortable, not to mention highly absorbent, they’ll make a great large space to work out on.
Reading in backyard on warm summer or chilly fall days
Doubling as an ultra soft and comfortable space to lay on and a cover to stay warm if it gets a little chilly, day blankets are the perfect accessory for reading in the backyard…or anywhere!
Ready to see more? Brahms Mount offers day blankets in many designs, fibers, and colors, including: