Tuesday, September 10, 2013


At Linwood we are always trying to find and use sustainable, natural materials. After a recent trip to a yarn store I came home with a Hemp/Cotton blend that had me wondering about the pros and cons of hemp. A little google searching led to a lot of good news about hemp. 

Hemp can produce 250% more fiber than cotton and 600% more fiber than flax using the same amount of land. Not only does it yield more, but instead of stripping the soil of nutrients, it actually helps to revitalize the soil and prevent erosion. It grows very quickly as well which reduces the use of pesticides & fertilizers.

Hemp is also more durable (up to 3 times stronger than cotton) and doesn't lose its color as quickly. It is very absorbent and gets softer with each washing. This Huffington Post article explains how hemp is being used for much more than just yarn.

As I explore with this new yarn a bit more I hope to offer several new items in our etsy shop incorporating this sustainable material, so check back often!

Linwood Journals

Our current project list here at Linwood includes a lot of journal-making. We are experimenting with some decorative binding techniques and finding fun ways to incorporate natural materials into our work. Some of the materials we've been working with include hand-cut wooden buttons, leather, locally sourced walnut wood, paper made from sustainable palm fibers and cotton thread. We are also exploring the possibility of using a hand-felted cover. Check out our etsy to see the finished work.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Etsy Photos

This photo didn't quite make the cut for our etsy site, but we still like it anyway

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Catfish & Tater Boutique

We sell soap at a local boutique shop called Catfish & Tater that is located in Liberty. If you are ever up in the Northland you should stop by this shop and check out all the other great items. Here's some information taken from the boutique's website:

Unique comes to mind when you step into this cute boutique.
Our cozy little space is packed with stylish clothing from NY & LA, with new merchandise arriving each week.

Handmade items are also key to the artistic vibe here, so you will find several items available from local artists and designers.  My house brand "catfish & tater" includes leather handbags, tattoo t-shirts, baby items and vintage accessories that you are sure to love.

Affordability is the key to it all.  Boutique shopping can be affordable, and that is what "catfish & tater" is all about.  This is sure to be your new favorite place to shop in the Kansas City Northland.

We have moved to our NEW location:
  8 N. Main
Liberty, MO. 64068

Mon - Fri  10am-6pm
Saturday  10am-5pm

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Soap Lessons

There's a lot to know about soap, especially commercial soaps that you find on most market shelves. When we sell our soap at festivals and to local customers it's a bit awkward and time consuming to explain what makes our soaps different and why we really believe in the old fashioned method of cold process soap as opposed to buying a cheaper, factory made commercial bar. After all, words like sodium lauryl sulphate, stearic acid, polysorbate 60 and polyethylene glycol don't tend to hold one's attention for long. We often summarize all of this by calling our soap "natural", but I've read plenty of product labels with the word natural on them that are far from such. Perhaps the worst part of it all is that soap manufacturers are not required to test the safety of their products, nor list all the ingredients they contain.

People don't often realize how much their skin does on a daily basis, especially how much it can absorb into the bloodstream from the environment. This is especially troubling once you begin to learn just what is in most household and personal products that people use on a daily basis throughout their lives. The skin can even absorb essential fatty acids and vitamins from soap, but this also means that it can absorb some harmful chemicals found in synthetic soaps.

When people purchase soap today, it's often a misnomer, instead they are usually purchasing a detergent. Detergents are synthetic and before they even reach your skin they have already caused damage by releasing industrial waste in streams and creating by-products that aren't easily broken down in nature. Common detergents appear on labels as sodium tallowate, sodium palmate, sodium palm kernelate and sodium cocoate.
The most harmful chemicals in commercial soaps are the preservatives, fragrances and dyes. Paraben is a common preservative that has come under fire in recent years. A study of breast tumors found that every sample studied contained parabens. Many fragrances are actually neurotoxins and carcinogenic. Dyes that are considered coal-tar dyes are known carcinogens and include names such as,  FD & C Blue 1, 2, and FD & C Green 3, and titanium dioxide.

Commercial bars rely on cheaper ingredients and harsh chemicals that preserve shelf life. While the financial cost of buying a commercial soap is cheaper, the health and environmental damage is much more expensive. Our soaps are made with our own hands, we don't produce any harmful waste, our ingredients are natural and retain all of their nourishing and beneficial qualities because they are minimally processed and we don't use  anything that is carcinogenic, irritating or poisonous.

Here's a list of what we put in our soap:

Coconut oil, olive oil, sustainable palm oil, almond oil, castor oil, shea butter,  and essential oils (for scent). Some bars also contain herbs, spices and natural clays for color (dried rosemary, lavender buds, bentonite clay, turmeric, cinnamon, etc.)

Here's a list of what is in a well known brand of soap:

Sodium Cocoyl Isothionate, Paraffin, Sodium Cocogylceryl Ether Sulfonate, Glycerin, Water, Magnesium Stearate, Stearic Acid, Isothionate, Magnesium Cocoate, Coconut Fatty Acids, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Cocoate, Sodium Sulfate, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Laurate, Lauric Acid, Sodium Laurate, EDTA, Polyethylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide

As more and more stories come out about contaminants and toxins in everyday items, it's becoming increasingly important to research and understand exactly what you are exposing yourself to. It's obvious that most large corporations and manufacturers do not hold safety over profit. I've included some resources below that contain information about toxins in common products and suggestions for natural alternatives.

Monday, June 25, 2012