McBurney and Black

Handmade lace

About Us

After many years working in the world of textiles, I established McBurney and Black in 2013.

Grandmothers Lizzie Black, from Scotland, and Margaret McBurney, from Ireland, were my inspiration. They both had a great love for linen, an addiction to collecting and serious needlework skills! I also have close links to the Irish Linen trade; my great uncle a linen lapper and my great aunt a linen yarn winder in the days when Belfast was known as Linenopolis.

The aim is to share their legacy and that of many others by offering a carefully curated collection of Irish Linens and haberdashery. 

As someone who specialises in the sale of antique and vintage Irish linen I passionately believe that it continues to have a relevance to our lives today. Mixing old and new can bring a refreshing look to any home. 

 

This has been at the heart of my business McBurney and Black right from the start. Linen is such a wonderful textile; it improves with age and many of the linens I sell are at least 60-80 years old, some older still. Rather than tucking these pieces away in a drawer to be kept for best, we should use them daily and celebrate the skill that went into making them. 

The collection is constantly changing as buyers find the perfect tablecloth or set of napkins - so the challenge is to find more beautiful, unique and sometimes quirky pieces to tempt you.

Image courtesy of PhotosBy.Si

Fiona McKelvie, Founder

Just because a piece of linen is vintage doesn’t mean it has to be used in a traditional way. I love to combine the old and new, creating a way to enjoy these timeless treasures in our modern lives.

I maintain a close connection to the home of Irish Linen, heading home to Northern Ireland regularly to view estate sales and private collections and at the same time making new friends in the wider linen community. 

I also arrange linen tours for textile enthusiasts from time to time and lecture regularly on the history of Irish Linen to a wide variety of organisations, from international tour groups to museums and historical societies.

Field of flax in full bloom