Living Well

Three Old World Techniques We Can’t Live Without

Ninety years ago, John Matouk founded our company with the goal of making the world’s finest bed and bath linens available to American consumers. In order to stay true to this original mission, we are continuously in search not only of the best materials and designs, but also of the best techniques to produce our bed and bath linens. Sometimes that means reaching into the future to identify emerging and advanced technologies that enable us to make exquisite products we couldn’t have dreamed of in the past. Other times it means utilizing age-old techniques that have been a part of our company for generations. Not only do they tie us to our rich history, but they remain the best ones for the job.

We spoke to Maria Freitas, who has been with Matouk for over two decades and now supervises the custom embroidery department, about three “old world” techniques we still rely on today to create and finish some of our most popular products.

Our Cairo Scallop towel.

Cutting & Sewing of Cairo's Scalloped Piping

 

A scalloped-edge towel is unique as it has a smooth, arched, rounded look. Our scalloped Cairo towels utilize our popular Cairo fabric—a soft, absorbent terry cloth that is the base of many of our towels. To make the Cairo towels with scalloped piping, a towel is cut from a roll of Cairo fabric, then placed in a die cut machine. This machine has various curved arches depending upon the size of the towel. A press cuts the towel uniformly to produce the rounded edges. Only talented, skilled craftsmen can cut, then sew the rounded perimeter of the towel in order to produce the beautiful final product.

Diamond Pique in Azure.

 

 

Hand Embroidery Sewing Machines

 

Diamond Pique is an easy-care, luxurious pique finished fabric used for coverlets, shams, and bed skirts, as well as for table linens. We produce stunning, thick, scalloped edges on the Diamond Pique by using a hand embroidery sewing machine to make various arched designs. The machine produces a decorative embroidery on the perimeter of the fabric, and then an operator removes the excess material such that the embroidered scallop becomes the finished edge. The key is that the quality of the embroidery and the consistency of the arched pattern corners match perfectly to the size of the product. Our skilled sewing operators learn this technique over time.

An appliqué monogram, under blacklight, in progress.

Hand Guided Embroidery & Monograms

 

Many, if not most, Matouk products can be enhanced with custom embroidery, which is done via a hand-guided technique. The customer selects a monogram, which we convert into a perforated template. Using invisible ink, the custom design is applied to the product. Under a blacklight, our experienced and patient operators artfully stitch the right colors and shapes in order to create the effect our customer desires.  

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