I wanted to share this treasure with all of you. Oh my! While I have been unpacking our latest shipment of antique French Linens, I have relished each and every page of The Book of Fine Linen, written by Françoise de Bonneville, foreword written by Marc Porthault.
Enter the elegant world of heirloom household fabrics, their use and manufacture, their embellishment and care. Linens so beautiful, they almost make you want to weep. This book covers it all, the history of fine linens, fibers used, examples of the weaver’s art and unusually revealing testaments of the history of daily life.
From peeks into linen closets, I personally, would practically die to have…..
To wonderful historical photos of both the making of these stunning linens, embroidered so skillfully, and the “sales” of such linens throughout history.
French hand embroidered Whitework pieces are still my very favorite, from sheets and pillowcases to napkins, these are always on my first list of “must finds.”
Françoise de Bonneville used household inventories, diaries, and colorful details and anecdotes describing domestic arrangements, to examin centuries of textile history.
She discusses the origins and symbolism of the trousseau, lovingly assembled over the course of many years by young women and their mothers and ceremoniously handed over to the young couple on their wedding day.
Hotel inventory of linens…to die for!
Beautiful antique illustrations and paintings illustrate the daily making, caring for and use of linens throughout the centuries. Seen here, the “bleaching fields.”
Traditions of caring for linens, which occupied incredible amounts of women’s time and expertise before the invention of the washing machine, are explored, as are methods of growing and weaving natural fibers such as cotton, linen and silk.
This book has so much beautiful visual material drawn from archival photographs, vintage advertisements, old department store catalogues, and splendid paintings
Fabulous embroidery techniques and designs from Europe and America are also superbly illustrated and carefully explained. Embroidered French net Pillowcase, below, would make any bed a luxurious retreat. Originally written in French,the text is translated in English. This is such a beautiful book!
The book is also filled with original photography commissioned especially for this volume, taken from extraordinary textile collections and private homes.
I first thought it would be out of my budget, as some copies sell for as much as $165.00! But some sleuthing around on the internet made me very happy, I simply put “used books” in the google box and searched thru all the used book sites there. I finally found my copy for under $10.00 including shipping. But I would have happily paid upwards of $35.00 for this gem. You will not be dissapointed! Each and every page is so filled with information and gorgeous illustrations and photos.
If you adore antique linens like I do, it’s worth the wait to put this on your Birthday or Christmas list. Be inspired!
If you want to romance your Home and Garden with antique and vintage treasures to make you smile each time you come home, visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.