The Beauty of Burn Out

By Barbara H. Jacksier

Synonymous with good government, colorful woven clothing
and rich and spicy food, the ancient Aztec culture thrived
around the time Columbus visited America in the area that is
now Mexico. Dedicated to the sun, the Aztecs’ huge temples
rival the pyramids of Egypt in grandeur and in the magnificent
artworks associated with them.

Premier Table Linen’s new Aztec fabric collection was inspired
by this culture, and by one of its iconic symbols, the sun. The
fabric is a handsome viscose/nylon combination featuring
sheer circular sun-like medallions floating in an opaque

Ever since I studied textile design in college, I have been
fascinated by the process used to create fabrics like Aztec. My
introduction to this odd technique was the day my chemistry
professor (yes, you have to take chemistry in order to major in
textile design) handed my class a stack of small fabric swatches
and several beakers filled with acidic liquid. Our assignment
was to create designs by using the liquids to eat away some
areas of the fabric.

Burn out, the textile industry’s term for what we learned to
do that day in class, creates contrasting sheer and opaque

areas on the same piece of cloth. You start with fabric woven
of threads spun from two different fibers. Then you treat the
fabric with a liquid solution that destroys only one of the two
types of fiber. The areas treated with the solution become
thinner than the surrounding areas—resulting in interesting

These sheer areas make Premier Table Linens’ Aztec cloths
a sensational overlay for a solid color tablecloth. Aztec looks
wonderful atop autumn hues or dark blue or black Premier
Poly, Spun Poly or Poly Cotton cloths. What I love most is how
versatile this burn out design is. You can change your look
from elegant to rustic to festive, just by changing your base

Available in either White or Earth, Aztec overlays make a great
choice for the holidays. Placed over red or green cloths they
radiate Christmas cheer. Accessorized with sparkling crystal
and silver or gold charger plates, the collection creates a
dazzling effect in your dining room.

Or why not go back to Aztec’s inspiration? Recapture the bold
and bright palette the Aztec people themselves loved by setting
a table with rainbow color Fiestaware and an eclectic mix
of Poly Spun napkins rolled and tied with corn husks.

Barbara H. Jacksier is the author of Waterfront Cottages, a book on decorating using
motifs from coastal regions. She is also the former editor of magazines including

Cottages Style, Romantic Living and Country Kitchens She is currently a freelance
writer on lifestyle and lives in Clifton, Virginia.