HANDMADE ADDS TO YOUR HOME
Collect Vintage & Antique Linens
In olden times, the traditional bride's dowry began with her hope chest of linens.
As soon as she could manipulate needle and thread, she practiced embroidery and lace making, adding piece after piece to the chest. Friends and relatives contributed treasured
antique and vintage heirloom linens. FINDING WHAT YOU WANT
Perhaps a talented aunt invented her own
patterns; a variety of figures, cherubs, birds, kittens, etc. in cutwork, needle or filet lace became figural lace borders or inserts. Another busied her hands with dainty Irish lace; still another stitched exquisite
Society Silk or Madeira Marghab style embroidery. All of these would decorate the bride's linens.
|Antique Handmade Figural Lace Doily|
Occasionally several women would work together to create one gorgeous, unique piece with figural and Irish lace, Madeira embroidery and whatever other techniques their nimble fingers could execute.
|Antique Soiciety Silk Table Topper|
One by one, a lifetime supply of beautiful handmade linens accumulated.
As her needs progressed from the wedding hankie to the Christening cap, her hope chest provided a seemingly endless variety of linens. Whether she needed sturdy tablecloths and huck linen towels for her kitchen, table runners, dresser scarves and guest towels to decorate her home or linen damask tablecloths with monogrammed napkins for a sit-down dinner, she was prepared!
|Vintage Wedding Hankie|
The most elaborate of these were "saved for best" and used
only on very special occasions. Exquisite pieces of Normandy lace, Marghab and Society Silk embroidery have
survived almost untouched for generations. Even everyday, household
linens were frequently embroidered, monogrammed or lace edged.
|Vintage Huck Linen Towel|
Antique and vintage linens add a warm, heirloom feeling to your home.
What could be more personal than the lace tablecloth handmade by your own grandmother?
But, aside from sentimentality, a linen doesn't have to be antique or vintage
to be charming.
Of course you can't always expect a pre-owned linen to be in pristinely, brand-new condition. It is the one-of-a-kind effect, usually achieved by handwork
of some kind, that makes each piece special.
|Folk Art Embroidered|
Many of our older linens come from Connecticut estates. Each has been
selected for that certain something that makes it unique. Enjoy browsing through
our site. You, too, may find that certain something that will be
just right for your home.
Older Linens, Lace & Hankies Are Unique
Vintage and antique linens were usually handmade to suit the individual homemaker's purpose. Many don't fit neatly into a category. Thus, there is overlapping and cross-over between categories. On Hearts-Desires each piece will be displayed only once; but possibly not in the category where you first expect to find it. For example: I consider table runners and dresser scarves to be long rectangles or ovals; table toppers to be round or square. You may decide that shape is not the determining factor in choosing the linen to complement your decor.
So our inens are classified by purpose rather than style.
|Vintage Linen &|
There are thirteen sections of hankies alone! And some of those sections contain three or more pages!
4 Easy Steps
1. Links to the basic site contents show at the top of each page. Click the generalized category of the item you are seeking.
2. You will arrive at a list of further, more specialized, sub-categories. Click the one that suits your search.
(For example: You are looking for a decorative linen for your dining room table. On the top of your entry page choose "Linens For Your Home". A list of subcategories will show. Choose the one that seems most appropriate for your situation; possibly large or small tablecloths, table runners, table toppers, doilies, napkins or placemats.)
3. Small pictures of each item will show below the links section. Click on "Click to Enlarge" for larger photos and details.
4. At the bottom of the detail page click continue; you will return to the previous page where you may add the item to your shopping cart or continue browsing.
If you are looking for a specific attribute, enter your keywords, such as "folk art" or "tambour lace" into the search box below the site map links.
|Vintage Linen & Lace Table Topper|
You may also wish to check our Needle Arts page, which displays some of the finest handmade antique and vintage linens available. Most of these aren't categorized, but may be adapted to your special purpose.
The articles are a mixed bag.
Some, such as "Collecting Vintage Hankies", are designed to introduce the beginning collector the many possibilities available. Some, such as "The Wonderful Little Buttonhole Stitch", consider a single aspect of vintage linens in minutest detail. Some, such as "Web Pages Are Copyrighted!" were written out of personal experience, and may be of interest to others who enjoy shopping for linens on the internet.
Vintage Linen Hanky
Note: Photos illustrating the articles show actual examples of vintage and antique linens that were available at the time the article was written. The items may, or may not, still be available. Although our pages are updated frequently, the page might have originated some time ago.
So, again, enjoy browsing our site. Thank you for visiting. New items are added almost daily; so, "Y'all come back!"