PRODUCTS - Irish Linen Damask

The word DAMASK is believed to originate from the city of Damascus, which was the great market in the Middle Ages for many of the precious brocade cloths, from which traditional Irish Linen Damask tablecloths and napkins may have developed. Woven on the Jacquard loom, so-called after its 18th century French inventor, Irish Linen Damask is woven with individual thread control so that patterns are visible even in an all-white cloth.

There are two types of damask cloth, describing differing design techniques and fabric densities

  • Single Damask - the actual design being accomplished by passing the weft yarn over four warp threads and one under and is termed five leaf satin. The individual threads being controlled by the Jacquard machine.
  • Double Damask - the weft threads pass over seven and under one warp thread, allowing a greater thread density and fineness of design to be achieved. It is termed an eight leaf satin. In fact, Double Damask has over 200 threads of warp and weft per square inch. With more yarn used than in Single Damask, the fabric is denser with improved handling and drape properties and, at the same time, finer in design; a combination resulting in a more expensive but unique cloth.

Common to both Single and Double Damask fabric, however, is the feature that the back of the material is the reverse of the front.


A late twentieth century loom weaving Irish Linen Damask

Since the seventieth century Irish Linen Damask tablecloths acquired a reputation as a unique fabric that graces the tables of mansions, stately homes, royal households and prestigious hotels around the globe. White damask is a perfect compliment to silverware and cut crystal glassware.

Personal designs, featuring family crests or corporate logos can be woven into the design.


It is easily laundered to a crisp bright finish, is free from lint and is mothproof and stores well for long periods. The napkins are extremely absorbent.

Three popular Irish Linen Damask patterns
Celtic Chrysanthemum Shamrock

Irish Linen is a robust fibre and will withstand and respond to a variety of laundering treatments. Unlike synthetic fibres, Irish Linen can be washed at high temperatures (95°C), if preferred, but the following procedure is recommended:

  • On an automatic machine, a 60°C wash is very effective using a biological liquid detergent. Once the rinsing and spinning cycles are complete the linen article should be line dried to slight dampness, spray starched and steam ironed at a medium to hot setting.
  • Irish Linen should NEVER be tumble-dried nor ironed when dry.
  • Most stains will be removed in the course of normal washing. However, for stubborn soiling it is recommended to rub the soiled area with a liquid detergent before putting the article in for a general wash.