White Star Line Point Paper, c.1934
Founded in Liverpool in the mid nineteenth century, the White Star Line’s fleet sailed regularly between Britain and Australia. The company’s most famous ship was the RMS Titanic, which sank in the Atlantic in 1912. The White Star Line placed huge order in Ulster for linen, from bed linens to towelling and tables linens. Something of the demand for production is illustrated by the fact that the Titanic alone required 45,000 linen damask napkins and 6,000 tablecloths. This napkin was designed for the White Star Line in the early 1930s, prior to the company’s merger with its rival, Cunard. The repeating white star motif is bordered by a patterned scroll. The design is printed on point paper; each square on the paper corresponds to a card, and these cards are fed into the Jacquard loom, producing the finished design. Fine linen napkins adorned the tables of these luxury ocean liners, and added to the opulence of the voyage.