Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It must be a Linen Addiction

Hi, My name is <my name really needs to go here> and I am addicted to linen and lace. Now that wasn't so hard was it? I plan to work on it really...

A couple of months ago I was at a second hand store looking for a wedding gift. I was horribly unsuccessful. I ended up having to buy something off of the registry at Macy's instead. I hate it when I fail at a mission. My problem was I did not have much time.

That said, second hand stores, at least in France, are normally filled with wondrous things. Some things are junk, but hidden in the rafters are treasures. Much to my delight there was a stack of linen sheets waiting for me at the store. "They were just donated on Saturday" the keeper of the room told me clearly in French. It was a delightful stack. Let me show you the ones I came home with if I may.

One of my favorite things to find are butterflies. Here was a set of two pure linen older vintage sheets. The top sheet is large enough for a full/queen bed As with all older sheets, they are very long. So long in fact I could make a matching pillowcase by cutting off the bottom. The initials in raised work embroidery are not mine, but beautiful:

Speaking of raised work embroidery, I do not normally buy cotton, but this one was marked very inexpensive due to damage. The thing is it was not damaged at all. It was poorly ironed making the fagoting along the edges look broken along one of the edges. At first glance I thought it was badly damaged. Pulling it apart at the store, it was clear there was nothing wrong with it. Again, Queen sized. For this sheet both top corners, look like this:

The middle top portion of the sheet looks like this:
The next linen sheet, not as much fun as the last two, but the price was right and it was in beautiful condition

As with all of the sheets, the fagoting is done by hand. Later vintage sheets will have the fagoting but it will be machine made. This one is hand done. 
Most likely it is a purchased  sheet with fagoting already done. The embroidery was added by whom ever bought the sheet. I have found this type of fagoting on sheets still in its original packaging.

The back side of the embroidery is interesting to look at. Just as neat in the back as the front. This picture is of the top of the design.
The last of the sheets is what is called "le point Ombre" in French or "Shadow Work Embroidery" in English. I have always seen it on organdy here in France. when I saw this sheet I knew I had to have it. For my pocketbook it was expensive. "This is the most exquisite example of shadow work embroidery that I have seen in a long time" The keeper of the room told me. There were two of them. the other had some damage so I passed on it. I have to admit it is beautiful. It appears to be a linen or possibly linen/cotton blend. Really hard to tell, but it isn't quite what I would peg as linen and it does not feel 100% cotton at either.

The swirls are shadow work and the enter area looks to be "Filet Sicilien" or Sicilian Embroidery. Here is a close up.

Here is the center of the top of the quilt

The little square in the center looks like "Carres Venise",  or Venise Squares. It was most likely purchased inexpensively at any department store. See this older post for pictures. Sewing them in is just a running stitch around the design at first, then the back is cut away and the motif is satin stitched into place.

Since the washing machine was either new and expensive or it did not exist, those that could afford it sent their sheets to the cleaners to be washed. It is not uncommon to find the cleaning tag and name penned in on a sheet as this sheet has.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed my tour of vintage sheets.

This week I am linking up with Shabby Art Boutique for Shabbilicious Friday Link Party!


  1. WOW! I'm right there with you in the linens addiction. These are absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.