Rough Linen

IF THE RIGHT idea and passion are present, training is secondary — at least, that was the case for San Rafael’s Tricia Rose, founder of Rough Linen. Inspired by a homespun pillow slip passed down from her Scottish grandmother, Rose decided to bring the handcrafted, elemental linens of yesteryear into the present day. She launched her company in 2009 with no formal design background.


“I started with one fabric and one product and made it exactly the way I wanted it to be,” Rose says. “Sheets were logical [as a starting point] and the company has been growing in a harmonious and logical way ever since.” Before linen was associated with luxury, flax was a staple domestic crop, and even small farms set aside a field of plants homemakers could harvest, spin and weave for their own use. The company draws on this tradition, and according to Rose, rustic or finely woven linen is the best fiber for the home.


Rough Linen offers bed, table and window linens, sewn in a small, recently expanded workroom in San Rafael. The entire team is female and well taken care of — each employee has a 401(k) and health benefits.


Rough Linen customers span the world: Australia, Ireland, England, Mexico, Canada and even Singapore. “Most business is on the East and West Coast, though,” says Rose.


Linen’s luster, easy care, stability, strength, straight grain and texture are such that it doesn’t elicit many complaints, yet Rose appreciates feedback and stays very hands on. “I answer a lot of customer emails personally,” she says. “I want to keep in touch with what’s going on.”


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Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.