Classic linens with a twist - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Classic linens with a twist

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CHARLOTTE, Vt. -

It's the little touches that make a house a home and a tablescape come to life. From napkins to placements, pillows to towels, unique home goods is Cricket Radio's forte.

"I was driving, listening to the radio, and there was an entomologist talking about the sounds crickets make and called it cricket radio. I just loved that, just seems really Vermont to me and it's mysterious enough that people say, what is that," said Elizabeth Archangeli, whose business is linen products silk screened with classic designs.

"The hand towels are doing great. People buy them for hostess gifts shops -- might sell 10 towels a day," she said.

Linen is her fabric of choice -- it's strong and gets softer and better with age. All the designs are pre-shrunk and pre-washed so they're ready to be used.

"For hand towels they're super absorbent. The more you use them and wash them the more absorbent they come," she said.

Archangeli said she's always been creative, but never expected to make a living from it.
"The details are so amazing and I love the colors," she said.

Design wasn't always her path. About ten years ago she traveled to Indonesia for a workshop on human trafficking, while she was working for the Council on Foreign Relations. She instantly was inspired by the crafts of Indonesia -- like batiks -- traditional textiles. She started a side business there designing shoes, traveling to the country on and off for four years and collecting antique batiks the entire time.

"They were just so beautiful to me I'd come back with pounds and pounds of them," she said.

After becoming a mom and running into production problems she gave up the shoe business, but kept her batiks. It was after taking a printing class and falling in love with silk screening something clicked. "I kept them for years and when I started screen printing I realized what a great library of designs I had," she said.

Now many of the floral and bird designs show up in Cricket Radio originals.

"You get this blend of Asian and European designs, so it can be classic with a sort of ethnic flair to it, which I love," she said.

Archangeli and her team are constantly sewing, screening and coming up with new designs. Aprons will be coming out soon -- along with clothing. Prices range from $24 for a napkin to $70 for a table runner. Time and the quality of the fabric drive the price. "The price points are an issue but people love the fact the products are all made in Vermont -- that's a big selling point," she said.

Classic linens with an edgy Made in Vermont twist.

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