Monthly Archives: July 2009

Why does Maine make such great stuff?

Growing up in Northern Maine, I learned the value of a good blanket. The winters in Maine are long and hard, and nothing keeps you toastier than a finely loomed bed covering. It being the end of July, you might not be thinking about blankets right now, but as anyone who sleeps with the air conditioning on will tell you, even in Brooklyn, it can get pretty chilly at night.

There aren’t very many companies that produce their products in Maine anymore, but the ones that do exist tend to make excellent things. For that reason, (and because it gives us an excuse to drive up the coast) we here at Brook Farm General Store love to carry anything we can get our hands on from the Great State of Maine.

The folks at Brahms Mount Textiles in Hallowell, Maine, realize that not everyone needs a wool blanket year round, and for that reason they have perfected the art of the light cotton and linen blanket. Their blankets are cool enough for summer evenings, and excellent for layering in the fall and winter.

an antique spinning wheel

an Acadian lady spinning

Maine has a long history of textile production. Traditionally, every family raised their own small flock of sheep, and the women would card and spin the wool into workable yarn. After the Civil War, the textile and leather industries began to flourish in Southern Maine, as farming, always difficult because of the rocky soil and short growing season, decreased.

antique linen throw with grey stripe

antique linen throw with grey stripe

Brahms Mount is a twenty-five year old company based in the nineteenth-century headquarters of the Hallowell Granite Company. All of their blankets are hand-woven on antique Crompton and Knowles W3 shuttle looms that they have restored back to their original glory. They are the only company in North America that weaves 100% Linen blankets. At the moment we have some of their amazingly soft cotton ticking stripe baby blankets in stock, for $85. They come in either pink or blue with white stripes. These blankets are not yet available on our website, but if you email us at info@brookfarmgeneralstore.com, we will be very happy to mail one to you.

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ticking stripe baby blankets

We will soon be receiving some of their classic linen throws and day blankets as well ($225). These blankets have to be touched and used to be properly appreciated. Because of their fine weaving and the insulatory properties of linen, they somehow manage to keep you both warm in winter and cool in the summer.

59.Natural Chocolate Throw THUMB

natural and brown linen throw

We have lots of other cool stuff from Maine, but I had so much to say about Brahms Mount, I guess I will just have to save the rest of it for a new post.

antique textile trunk

an Acadian textile trunk

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