Wednesday 11 August 2010

Vintage Linens

"Vintage Linens" covers such a wide range of items: tablecloths, aprons, doilies, napkins, tray cloths, tea cosies, tea towels, bedspreads, made by crochet, knitting, tatting, quilting, embroidery, pulled-thread work, cut work, lace....
What makes them collectable and a joy to behold is their elegant beauty and the realisation of the hours of creative effort put into them to by their original owners. I love the texture and colours of hand embroidery, the delicate nature of lace edging, the intricate designs of drawn-thread work and the complexity of cut work - what loving skill and care that has been taken maybe 90 or more years ago to create real little works of art. No wonder so many have survived intact, they have been treasured, cared for and loved, many remaining beautifully starched in drawers waiting for a special guest or celebration. They have been passed down generations and are special mementos of previous lives. I feel quite humble when I am lucky enough to buy a collection and have the chance to find them new homes.
While it could be considered a real chore to launder and check each piece for wear and faults - I love it -  handling each piece and pondering the story it has to tell.
Owning a few special pieces is like adopting a caring Great Aunt, as they bring a sense of nurture and elegance into your life and I am sure using them and living with them can take away some of today's stresses. Try it, it works!
Make a pot of tea wrap it in a vintage padded crazy quilt tea cosy and serve it on a tray with lace edged tray cloth, add a cut work doily to the plate of cookies and use little embroidered tea napkins - now sit and wallow in the joy of it all. No stress possible!
All my linen is vintage and some more gently used than others.
I love the fact that people more creative than I re-use older pieces in their own craft work, quilts or fashions.
So get out that linen you have inherited, borrow some, buy some from my shop or add it to your Christmas wish list and use it in your life and enjoy!

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