Set the Table for Effortless Hospitality
The table is a blank canvas ready for your touch. A copper napkin ring gleams in the foreground, drawing your eye to bold turquoise and creamy white plates, all framed by intricate linen placemats. A still life made real.
Yet, it’s the people you invite to hold the teak flatware that make the sketch a masterpiece. A stunning tablescape immerses your guests in beauty so they can relax into your effortless hospitality. Setting the table makes room for the raucous laughter and shared secrets that bind you with the people and community you love.
Set Your Table with Malaika Linens
A needle and thread can change lives, but first you must learn to sew. Malaika was founded in Cairo in 2004 with two powerful goals: to produce luxurious Egyptian cotton linens while teaching traditional hand embroidery skills to Egyptian women and refugees.
Malaika’s self-funded embroidery school provides women with a clear path to sustainable income. Once proficient in this ancient art, they can go back to their villages to work from home, or stay in the Malaika factory where they create elaborate pulled-thread openwork and stitch colorful patterns inspired by the history and culture of Egypt.
Behind the Name: Malaika
We asked Malaika co-founder, Goya Gallagher, to share more about the meaning of the name of Malaika Linens.
Malaika, in Arabic, means a group of angels. We started out as an Egyptian bedding company and so sleeping with angels was the idea behind the name.
Since then, we have expanded our offering because we are passionate about handwork and the artisanal heritage of Egypt. We are fortunate enough to work with inspiring people in pottery, glass, weaving, brass and always looking to engage with different local crafts.
Goya shares why Egyptian Cotton is ideal to work with. "Egyptian cotton is famous worldwide because the yarn can be spun very finely while remaining strong. This allows for higher thread count, a crisp yet smooth touch and the ability to make a product that can last a lifetime. We strive to make pieces that will stay with you and hopefully be passed on to the next generation."
Threads of Hope
"From the outset of Malaika, we offered tuition-free embroidery lessons with the idea that women would have an opportunity to earn an income while working from home.
We then decided to found Threads of Hope in an effort to expand the school while giving other brands the opportunity to incorporate embroidery into their work and in that way offer more work opportunities to our students.
Threads of Hope, managed by my partner Margarita, has become a community centre attracting Egyptian women as well as refugees from a variety of places such as Syria, Palestine, Sudan, and Ethiopia."
- Goya Gallagher
Create Your Tablescape
The Ceremony of Food
East Fork is a celebration of the table and Malaika products bring that table to life. We asked Goya to describe the ideal table for us.
"Egypt is all about generosity and joy when it comes to hosting, so I imagine lots of food that everyone can dig into, lots of laughter and friends talking over each other! When hosting in Cairo, my go-to menu is Sharkaseya, a delicious and beautiful chicken dish with a creamy walnut sauce, served with Egyptian rice. On the side, stuffed vine leaves and aubergine mesa’a’ah and for dessert a rich date tart with pistachio ice cream."