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Hancock Linen: Dreaming of Seed to Sewing

When the Scots and Irish made their way to New Hampshire in the late 1700s, they brought with them the knowledge of how to make what they knew best — linen. What came to pass was a thriving linen industry in colonial New Hampshire that rivaled the quality found in Europe.So fine was the New Hampshire linen of the late 18th

So fine was the New Hampshire linen of the late 18th century that it was often exported back to Ireland (one of the best linen producers in the world)! Once considered the most important textile in the world, linen died out as cotton grew to predominance in the 19th century, followed by the departure of much of the New England textile industry in the 20th century.

Hancock Linen is a line of quality bedding and household linens that was conceived by Rebecca MacNeely at the intersection of three strands of thought:

  • “While searching for a family home away from the pressures of our work life in Boston, my husband and I fell in love with Hancock – its friendliness, peacefulness, and beauty.
  • Our health had suffered with the stresses of life in Boston, and we wanted to put down roots in a new, tranquil environment. As a migraine sufferer, I became aware of the negative health effects that synthetic fabrics can have on the human body. Research shows that linen bedding promotes deeper sleep than both synthetics and cotton. Skin conditions, migraines, hot flashes, and sleep problems can all be mitigated through the use of pure linen bedding.
  • With a tradition of quality based right here in New Hampshire, wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring linen back “home”?

Armed with the desire to re-connect my beloved corner of New Hampshire to its rich history of fine linen production – and my interest in natural fibers for their healthfulness – I drew upon the rhythmic, timeless simplicity of the Hancock landscape to inspire our designs. We use European linen sewn with notions sourced from the Monadnock region, and our larger vision for Hancock Linen includes re-introducing long-fiber flax production so that some of the products can be produced entirely in New Hampshire, from seed to sewing.”

Hancock Linen
PO Box 253
Hancock, NH