Where to find the most beautiful Basque fabrics
As iconic today as they were in the 19th century, when classy ladies delighted in striped cloth, Basque linen has been able to adapt to the style of the day thanks manufacturers who do not hesitate to spice up their ancestral know-how with a bold thread. Here is a small selection of five houses with the finest Basque fabrics, 100% made in France.
Ona Tiss: Back to the origins
In Basque, "ona tiss" means "good weaving." This sums up the spirit of this factory committed to perpetuating precision and quality for over 70 years.
While you are visiting the workshop of Saint-Palais, you can measure how much the Basque fabric is rooted in the soil: at the beginning, the striped mantle that protected the oxen was made with linen, which any good farmer cultivated in his fields.
Currently, linen has been replaced by cotton, and beyond the traditional red and green that symbolize the Basque Country, Ona Tiss has expanded its range, playing with an endless array of bobbins! You can see them in Saint-Palais and in the shop of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
Lartigue 1910: At the heart of living heritage
Warpers, weavers, seamstresses—In Lartigue 1910 workshops in Ascain and Bidos, you can see the handiwork that leads to the cloth, revealing an ancestral know-how. Find out why the Basque fabric is so robust: a cloth 1.80 m (5.9 ft) wide contains up to 5,500 threads. The amount of spools they must have used since the first workshop opened in 1910 is incalculable!
After espadrilles, the stripes designed by Lartigue have gained some ground as a signature Basque product: between the restyled mante vintage and carreau basque, we spot the latest models of tablecloths in retail outlets and shops of Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Espelette.
Tissage Moutet: Tea towels "as objects of seduction"
In 2019, Tissage Moutet celebrates 100 years of "artisanal French weaving," renewing its creations with a pinch of madness! Dive into the archives of this Béarnaise house, designers have shown once again that the tea towel could prove to be an "object of seduction."
Colorful and often funny, the tea towels can even look artsy, like the new "Miró Broderie" model, created for the Grand Palais in Paris. And it has inspired a whole array for the home and the table, from mini-tablecloths to napkins, aprons, drapes and bath towels. If you don't have time stop by Orthez's factory shop, you can always find them in stores at Ducru, in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and in the Ramuntcho Cafés, in Bayonne.
Tissage de Luz: Over 50 shades of the Basque Country
In Espelette, the red of local pepper that enlivens decor. But Tissage de Luz has more than one shade up its sleeve! For its 2019 collection, this historic house draws its inspiration from the rich palette of the Basque Country. Navy, gray or taupe gradients, like Miramar beach in Biarritz, green like the Chiberta pines, or blue like the surf spots of Bidart are all in palette.
Five generations later, the Basque fabric of the founding grandfather made to "last 100 years" is available in more than 50 colors as tablecloths, bags and canvas, but also quilts and cushions. You can shop near the Espelette clothing studio or visit its stores in Bayonne, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and soon, Biarritz.
Tissage de Luz
Artiga: "Made in chez nous"
Made in chez nous ("Made in our home") is the motto of Artiga, which has just celebrated its 20th birthday! Based in the Landes region, this young house shares Basque fabric around the world with its cloth sold by the meter, or transformed into decorative objects by seamstresses with nimble fingers.
Want a particular design? Artiga makes customized, exclusive cloths. But you can also choose from 600 models produced each season, with acid colors enough to awaken the gloomiest winter. Cloths for the table, the home and even umbrellas are available in spring colors all year long! There are four shops in the Basque Country: one in Bayonne, one in Biarritz, one in Espelette and one in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
For more information:
• Prepare your trip to the Basque Country