FEATURE: Weaving her magic at The Linen Shop

JPCT 140613 S13240701x The Linen Shop, Fran White, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 140613 S13240701x The Linen Shop, Fran White, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

The Linen Shop’s window lavishly displays exclusively designed fabrics on plush pillows, flowing curtains and womenswear. Standing out amongst the rest in the heart of Horsham’s Carfax, it is no wonder that Fran White’s business was voted last year’s winner in the town’s ‘Dressed for Success’ campaign.

“When we moved here last autumn we got involved in this initiative, which a lot of shops in Horsham seem to take part in,” explains Fran.

JPCT 140613 S13240743x The Linen Shop, Fran White, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 140613 S13240743x The Linen Shop, Fran White, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

“By December time people voted and we won the award for ‘Best Independent Window,’ which is beneficial for us because we do see ourselves as individual and unique.”

Nothing else like it in the area (or the south for that matter), The Linen Shop came to be a successful business as a result of one woman’s love of fabrics and sheer determination.

Fran discusses her return to education, she imparts: “In 1995 as a mature student I went to college to study woven and printed textiles, because previously I had a business where we hired out fabric for use in advertising and photography.

“We supplied the backgrounds for cookery books and other adverts.

“But it wasn’t very creative, so I decided I wanted to find out how a lot of the fabrics I hired out were made.”

The mum of two attended The Surrey Institute of Art and Design where she discovered how all different types of clothes were designed, woven and manufactured.

After studying, Fran had the challenging task of finding the kind of businesses that would buy the original fabrics she had designed and woven at college.

“There was one designer in London who showed interest and asked if I had gone into production. With a lot of encouragement from other people, I found a mill to weave my fabric.

To read the full feature see this month’s etc Magazine http://etcmag.net/

Check out The Linen Shop at 18 Carfax, Horsham, RH12 1EB or for more details visit www.thelinenshop.biz, call 01403 243 024, or email fabric@thelinenshop.biz