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Recognizing & Collecting Marghab Embroidered Linens
Vintage, Handmade & One-Of-A-Kind Linens, Lace & Hankies


Selections of Maraghab embroidered linens may be found on:
Vintage Placemats,   & Vintage Napkins & Vintage Cocktail Napkins pages.

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Complete Website Contents -- Linens, Lace, Hankies, Home Decor, Etc. Etc.!
Marghab embroidered linens heart
placemats Marghab simplicity pattern
Marghab Simplicity
marghab barmaid waitress cocktail napkins
Cocktail Napkin
Marghab Barmaid
marghab ivy placemat edge
Placemat Edge
Marghab Ivy
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vintage marghab embroidered linens label
Paper Label
The Marghab name is to embroidered linens what the Tiffany name is to art glass. If you love fine linens, you will certainly wish to add Marghab pieces to your collection. However, it is sometimes difficult for the beginning collector to recognize Marghab linens at first glance. Labels were attached with a pin; thus removed and discarded at the first laundering. Cardboard boxes displaying the Marghab name were sometimes kept for storage; more often not.

marghab stag placemat
Marghab Stag
There are several fine sites on the internet showing many of the over 300 Marghab embroidery patterns, some with variations and most in several color combinations. Pattern names are usually listed alphabetically with illustrations and will help you to become familiar with and identify patterns. But at the moment of that estate sale or antique show, you need to make a decision. Even if you could access the internet, an alphabetical list is of little help when you don't know the pattern name.

However, there are characteristics you can become aware of that will help you to determine whether the piece was made by Marghab. Others such as Imperial, Leacock, Madeira linens bearing the little metal Gremio tag and small independent or cottage industry makers also display superior quality but none has quite the prestigious reputation or commands the price premium of Marghab.

marghab placemats and napkins blue scallopino with margandie
Placemats & Napkins
Marghab Scallopino
Irish Linen & Margandie
Primarily, Marghab made small table linens: napkin sets, placemats, matching placemat and napkin sets, often with matching table runners, and cocktail napkins. Occasionally you will find a wonderful tablecloth or hanky.

The Marghab company insisted on the best materials. They used fine Irish linen. While the transparent charm of organdy was desireable, the stiffness and puckering that developed aftering laundering organdy was unacceptable. Soft Egyptian cotton was woven in Switzerland to make Margandie® a Marghab trademarked fabric which retained the elegant sheerness of traditional organdy without its drawbacks. Special high-gloss embroidery flosses were dyed in England and France for use on Marghab products.

marghab iris placemat blue
Marghab Iris
Many Marghab patterns are classic, simple and elegant.
placemats marghab trailing vine pattern
Marghab Trailing Vine
But Marghab designers were also innovative and these are the designs that you can learn to recognize at a glance. Look for asymetric designs, such as the popular Iris pattern; those that incorporate ususual figures, such as the Zebra or Stag patterns; and those that are in some way out of the ordinary, such as Trailing Vine, in which the embroidered vines cross the fabric border.

marghab iris pattern placemat iris and rose
Lavender & Rose
Color Combination
Marghab Iris Pattern
Marghab designers were also innovative in their use of color. Who else would have thought to combine lavender with rose, as one of the lovely Iris combinations, or yellow with peach Calla Lilies?
placemats and napkins marghab background
Marghab Background
Peach On Grey
Marghab elevated the color grey to a position of sophistication, using various shades as both background and embroidery.

But the one very highest indicator of Marghab is absolutely exquisite workmanship. Only the best embroiderers were hired and only perfect work was accepted. We can barely imagine spending months creating one piece of 85,000 or more stitches; but they did and the results are spectacular. Always Marghab quality shows in the details.
Madeira seed dots on Marghab fish napkins
Madeira Seed Dots
Marghab Fish Napkin
buttonhole stitched mini scallops on marghab cocktail napkin
Buttonhole Stitched
Mini Scallops
Marghab Cocktail Napkin
Common features include buttonhole-stitched mini scallops and lavish Madeira seed dots. Even under magnification, if it's Marghab, it's perfect!

The Marghab styles described above are just a few of those displayed at Hearts-Desires. The contents link below will direct you you these and others that you will wish to view while familiarizing yourself with vintage and collectible Marghab linens.

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marghab ships placemat
Marghab Sailing Ships
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Updated 02/06/2020