Of all the changes borne through lockdown, dining with friends at home has been one of the silver linings. Across the country (and hopefully soon in Victoria), Australians have embraced home cooking and domestic gatherings.

The rise of home soirees has meant a real reassessment of how we actually style our tables. Hands up if you didn’t even own a tablecloth prior to 2020? Enter Thekla, a small business born during lockdown and created by a magazine editor who rediscovered her love of sewing.

Francesca Wallace saw a gap in the market – small-batch tablewear that was photo-worthy, but also sustainable. So she created Thekla, named after her great-grandmother.

“The pieces are inspired by my travels, particularly to Italy and Denmark,” she explains. “Both countries know how to use colour and are never afraid to have a little fun with a print.” With many European vacations sadly cancelled this year, any injection of Mediterranean energy into our lives is welcome. as Wallace notes. “While we can’t be sipping an Aperol on the Amalfi this summer, we can replicate our own version at home.”

Currently, Thekla is doing 10 styles of tablecloths and napkin sets, with a focus on small runs and sustainability. Most fabrics are dead stock or vintage, with new fabrics sourced from local Sydney suppliers in limited runs. The business also operates from a solar-powered building.

Because of this, you need to jump on items you like quickly. At the time of writing, one tablecloth design was already sold out. Considering the label officially launched today, that’s damn quick. Prices range from $40 for napkins to $190 for large tablecloths, with all products available online.