A week before Buck Ellison graduated Columbia University this may with a degree in visual arts and German literature, he started an unassuming little company, Deck Towel. About a week after that, when a friend emailed me the link with the subject line "we need these," four of the original six styles had sold out. In an email, Ellison explained that the Italian linen mills from which he had sourced the linen had closed down. While he tries to find more of those original fabrics, Ellison has added more styles and is working on his own prints which, he says, should be available by the time you read this. "I used to sew myself linen towels for camping trips because they are lighter, more absorbent, and don't need to be washed," he says. "I got so many compliments I decided I would make a little website and produce a few more. Within a week I was totally back-ordered, and was unable to sew the towels myself." For now, they're made in New York City's Garment District. "Hopefully the towels are helping to liberate linen from this dry-clean-only image it's been given. It's actually a remarkably hearty material-you can boil anything out of it-yet it's assigned this preciousness. I use mine all over-as a bedspread, as a blanket, even as a shower curtain." Which is good news for those us who did use theirs as a blanket on their deck the other night and managed to spill rosé, salsa, and candle wax over the course of a single evening. Buck, we're about to find out how "hearty" this linen of yours really is.