Friday 2 October 2015

Some history on Vintage linens .....

I love working with linens and I have to say that probably I work mostly on vintage French linens. There is even weave and' slubby' and depending on what I am stitching I go between the two. Slubby is more rustic type of linen for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term.

The earliest known household linens were made from thin yarn spun from flax fibres to make linen cloth. Ancient Egypt. Babylon , and Phonenicia  all cultivated flax crops. The earliest surviving fragments of linen cloth have been found in Egyptian tombs and date to 4000 B C E. Flax fibres have been found in cloth fragments in Europe that date to the Neolithic  prehistoric age

Cotton is another popular fibre for making cloth used for household linens. Its use in cloth-making also dates back to prehistoric times, in Indian subcontinent China and Peru  and Eygpt. Indian subcontinent was especially well known for high quality cotton cloth as early as 1500 BCE
Linen was an especially popular cloth during the Middle Ages in Europe, and the tradition of calling household fabric goods "linens" dates from this period.

According to Medieval tradition, which survived up until the modern era, a bride would often be given a gift of linens made by the women in her family as a wedding present, to help her set up her new married home. In France this was called a  trousseau, and was often presented to the bride in a wooden hope chest.

The collecting and restoring of antique linens can be complex, depending upon the condition of the cloth. Many old household linens were stored filled with starch, which damages the cloth over time since it hardens and causes wearing and tears in the fabric where it is folded and creased. The owner of an antique linen must determine if conserving, repairing, or mending are appropriate.

I like to wash I dry what I buy and then I store them in those plastic bags that you can suck all the air out of so that no moth can possibly get anywhere near my precious stash!

When I am using a sheet and cutting it up ( whilst storing it for use and in the middle of a project) it goes in a large plastic clip box for the same reason .. Moths!!! a vintage lovers worst enemy!

I am always on the look out for a beautiful sheet of linen and I have several that I use personally for table cloths on our large dinning room table.  I think they make a beautiful cloth.

Beautiful linen is wonderful to embroider on to and it is always my choice of base fabric, so I use an awful lot of it.

I found the photo on the right on google to show you a sample of slubby linen ........

Well I hope you have enjoyed a tiny trip through some history of linen and whatever you are doing today I hope you have a great day ... Happy Stitching!

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