When you have bought five metres of linen seven years ago and it doesn't really shift for years, but then sells out in 24 hours, you know something is going on. And that something turned out to be an innocent remark in a blog post by Mary Corbet. And this is what she wrote: "See that bolt of fabric? That’s the last of the Alba Maxima. The original manufacturer is apparently no longer weaving it. Sad me. Hopefully, a replacement will be found for this exquisite linen." So what is it about this specific brand of linen? And is it really gone? Let's find out!
Maxima alba linen is nothing more and nothing less than Weddingen's Hellweiss 925. You see Hellweiss = bright white = maxima alba. It is the name given to this German linen by the US importer. Weddingen HW 925 is woven in Germany by one of the last small family-owned weaving companies. They also produce very fine Bielefelder Kettgarnleinen; my preferred fabric for needle painting. The maxima alba linen is of very good quality. But that is not all. This evenweave 40 ct linen is equally suitable for counted thread embroidery, such as, but not at all limited to, Schwalm and crossstitch and for non-counted surface embroidery. It is very versatile and ideal for those of you who love to work both on and off the grid! Perhaps even combined in the same piece?
And now the big question: is this top-notch linen now really beyond our reach? Have they stopped producing it? Sadly: yes. However, the manufacturer still has a significant amount of stock for both the Hellweiss and the Weiss (white, old-white, off-white). Just no longer in all the different widths. I am currently stocking both the bright white and the off-white in 140 cm wide. A metre costs € 31,70. If you stick to just one metre, I can ship it to you in a padded envelope for € 3,70 world-wide. If you'll need more than one metre, it is probably worth putting in multiple orders of one metre ... For those of you who would like very large quantities, get in touch with the people at Weddingen. They are fantastically helpful and deserve our support!
They did send me a replacement for the Weddingen HW 925 for when it is really gone. It's the 180 Kettgarnleinen. This is a really nice linen too, but a bit thinner. It is, however, a plain weave and not an evenweave. Still very good for surface embroidery, but not for counted thread work. So stock up on maxima alba whilst it is still around!
Jessica M. Grimm
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