Exceptional Antique Linens bring romance

and a sense of history to your home.

 

 

 

Sentimental beauties, these household treasures have often served a family for decades,

and will happily continue to bring beauty and grace to your home if properly cared for.

 

 

 

 

After the holidays spent with our family, which were lovely and very low key,

 

I went on a linens buying trip to source some spectacular lace and linens.

 

 

After the more “busy” decor of Christmas –

 

I love to decorate with the wintery creams and whites in January.

 

 

There is nothing more soothing than setting a table

 

or layering a sofa with an antique cloth made with lace.

 

 

 

Lace and linen cloths are not just for tables, they look just as lovely layered over sofas, or a bed.

 

 

 

 

I love the romance and femininity of hand made lace

 

in whites, creams and ecru.  It makes me feel connected to the women

 

who made these wonders. And the women who lovingly placed them on their tables.

 

 

 

 

I was able to gather some cherished heirloom linens

 

from my very favorite lace and linen specialists.

 

 

I adore the glimmer and shine of the old woven silk and linen damasks.

 

Each one a treasure in glowing cream and champagne ivory.

 

And I was blessed to be offered another array of Estate Antique Trousseau Heirloom Damask Tea Towels with the most incredible designs woven in.

 

 

Made for a bridal trousseau, but sadly, never used.

 

 

Each one a work of art to be cherished, with the most incredible floral designs woven in the damask!

 

 

 

For those of you who love the antique linens as much as I do,

I’ve put together my very best tips

 for keeping your luxurious fine linens their best.

 

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR HEIRLOOM ANTIQUE LINENS:

 

1. ENJOY AND USE YOUR LINENS. 

The life of antique fine linens will be extended if you use them! Yes, it’s really true. Don’t keep them folded and stashed in your cupboards for fear their service will diminish their value or fine quality.

Keeping the linens folded inside cabinets will create stress on the fibers and damage the linens. Using and laundering your linens frequently allows your treasured textiles to breathe.  Use them and appreciate their beauty on a daily basis!

 

2. CLEAN APPROPRIATELY.

True museum quality heirloom linens are better off cleaned by a textile professional. Most antique linens, though, can be easily taken care of at home by you.

For delicate laces and fine fabrics, I recommend hand washing in a mild detergent in warm water.  Handle the wet pieces with delicacy, squeeze out the water carefully, wringing or twisting will do damage.  Air dry your antique linens. Outdoors is optimal, but I also dry a variety of pieces over the shower bar hung over a clean white sheet.

The sturdier country linens can be washed in your washer on gentle. Please do not use chlorine bleach, it will weaken the fibers. I do dry the country linens in the dryer on very low, and take them out while they are still moist.  You will have to use your own judgement on this.

 

3. DEAL WITH STAINS.

Should a guest spill a glass of red wine on your heirloom cloth, no need to panic.  Don’t disturb your lovely party, simply dab the stain with a wet, cold cloth, and pour some white table salt on the stain. {I layer a napkin over the wet spot, so that the meal can continue!}

Most stains will soak out in ice-cold water overnight. There are also many excellent linen soaks on the market to treat stains that are not easily removed.

And should your antique linen have a smallish stain you can’t get out? Just think of it as part of the story, it was loved, used, and spread out in all its glory. 

 

4. PRESS WITH CAUTION. 

I love the look of crisply ironed linens and also the look of wrinkled “as they are” ones. In order to iron, place a clean white terrycloth towel on your ironing board.  For delicate linens, or lace, I place a white cotton “press cloth” over the textile piece. {I’ll be honest, I usually use one of Mr. FGH’s clean white handkerchiefs!}

Always test a small area, begin at the lowest iron setting. And do NOT use your steam setting.  I use a spray bottle filled with lavender scented ironing water to moisten. Press embroidery on the wrong side, over the towel.  And don’t use spray starch, the carbohydrate in it will yellow your linens over time.

 

5. PRESERVE WITH CARE. 
Choose a wood cabinet to store your linens. Never use plastic bins, as the linens will not be able to breathe in there.

For larger linen cloths, take a leaf out of my grandmere’s book and roll them with acid free tissue paper.  Wrapping a set of heirloom napkins or towels around a cardboard tube covered in acid free paper keeps them beautifully and puts little or no pressure on the fibers. Add a bundle of lavender to your linen closet for fragrance.

Here is a secret trick I learned from my European grandmere:  Tie a bundle of white chalk in a ribbon and hang it in your linen closet to absorb moisture away from your linens!

 

 

With proper care, your beautiful antique heirlooms should remain gorgeous

 

and ready to serve and beautify your home.

 

 

SHOP ANTIQUE LINENS >

SHOP FRENCH COUNTRY LINENS >

à bientôt

 

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.