News — Scouting
We were lucky enough to experience perfect, sunny weather during our time in the Netherlands, giving us lots of opportunities for long walks and cycling trips around both Utrecht and Amsterdam. Here are a few snapshots from around town:
A lovely address in Amsterdam.
Great neon at a hardware store in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam.
More neon signs at De Witte Tanden Winkel-- "The White Tooth Store"-- on one of the "nine little streets" in the Jordaan, in Amsterdam.
A warm stroopwafel-- the most perfect food ever invented. "Eet smakelijk" means "bon appeitit!"
Fabric being loaded into a van at the Saturday fabric market in Utrecht. It is the oldest fabric market in the Netherlands, and began as a linen market in 1597.
A stained glass atelier in Utrecht. We saw beautiful stained glass everywhere in Utrecht and Amsterdam.
We also saw lots of cats, outside and in bars and restaurants.
A canal house in Utrecht.
And of course, frites! We had ours with mayonnaise and peanut sauce.
On our recent visit to Versmold, Germany back in May, we were able to stop in and see one of our current vendors-- the brushmakers at Bürstenhaus Redecker. Felix Redecker, the grandson of the original brushmaker in the family, explained how the family got it's start making brushes for local farmers.
The oldest building where brushes are still made, now with the help of a high tech bristle inserting machine.
The wood branding iron for marking brushes with the Redecker logo.
Now Bürstenhaus Redecker sends their brushes to stores all over the world-- including Flotsam + Fork! See all of our German-made Bürstenhaus Redecker brushes here.
During our recent trip to Holland (more on that later) we rented a car for a day and ventured across the border to visit the last linen twine manufacturer in Germany. After a few missed turnoffs, we arrived late and apologetic at the factory in the town of Versmold.
Once refreshed with coffee and cookies, Mr.Seidelmayer, the fifth generation owner, gave us an informational tour through the facility.
The majority of their production has traditionally been for the Germany meat industry. Because linen is stronger than cotton— each twine can hold between 20 and 70 kilograms of weight (that’s between 44 and 152 pounds!)— heavy linen twine is used to hang whole sides of pork, while unique color combinations of spun twine are used to differentiate between the various types of sausage.
We saw how the natural flax is spun from larger bobbins into smaller spools and balls on decades old machines in a surprisingly beautiful process.
The majority of the flax used by the factory is sourced from European countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, and Belgium, however European flax is getting harder and harder to find.
In addition to sausage twine—or wurstgarn—the factory also produces a polished linen kitchen twine. We hope to carry both in the shop soon!