Saturday

French Linen Sheets - FOR SALE


A few words about myself:

I'm a former Antique dealer for over 30 years and passionate about all old linen and hemp. Passionate about "old country life".....

I grew up in the country in Germany, and now am lucky enough to have spent the past 28 years in the wonderful and peaceful Dordogne / PĂ©rigord region of south western France. 
During my 30 years career as an antiques dealer, I always loved the pieces that came from the countryside, fine country furniture, and decorative objects that were steeped in the history of the lives of the people who made and used them.

I have worked with international interior designers, and as an interior consultant, 
and exhibited at the international well known Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea, London, for over ten years.

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I have always had a passion for linen, from the fine "fil de lin" bed over sheets, 
tablecloths with sets of monogrammed napkins throughout to the hand loomed organic hemp textiles produced by country people. They grew the flax, spun it and wove it, 
then used the textiles leaving beautiful pieces with an enduring spirit and utility.

I always, since my childhood, wanted to have my own linen cupboard, hope chest or trousseau.
 Now I find that my collections have far outgrown just the one cupboard, 
the one chest, the one trunk... it's time to let some of it go. 
With the hope of finding a new home where each piece will be loved, admired and appreciated.
And maybe be passed on to the next generations. 
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My collection includes the finest oversheets, "Draps de mariage" 
(monogrammed wedding oversheets) with elaborate monograms and embroidery.   

A preview of some pieces which will be soon listed
 and for sale at my Etsy online shop:

French Antique and Vintage Monogrammed 'DRAPS' - Over Sheets


MP



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 CG

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"Drap de Marriage" - Wedding over sheet
MM

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JG  -  sold!

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LJ or JL  -  Wedding Over Sheet

SOLD !  Thank You


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 DP
SOLD - Thank you!

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update:
 LM  -  SOLD
Thank you!
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Pair of over sheets - monogram LS or SL


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JR

 
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Pair monogrammed NS

update:
SOLD    -  Thank you!
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ML - avec retour
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GM or EM (or CM) it's sometimes difficult to figure out...
but this makes it interesting - we can fantasise...


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VD

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JE or JG
SOLD - Tank you!

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Here some sheets which come all from the same family,
a large farm nearby us
see the "story" behind    here

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MB - a very common monogram in France,
well, at least in our region:

update:
SOLD  -  Thank you

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and so on....to be continued soon in next post

 Stay curious....


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A few words about linen:

In the nineteenth century a household would have a large stock of linen, 
much of it originating in the bride's "trousseau", a linen collection started as a young girl. 
She would embroider her initials on the linen oversheets, 
table cloths and dishtowels as she collected them. 
On the finest linen she would leave space for the initials of her future, 
as yet unknown, husband's initials.

Up until the 1920s "normal" household's bedsheets were made of linen and/or hemp, 
woven on narrow looms and would have therefore one or even two panels  which were stitched together by hand (centre seams), 
the sheets could then be "turned side to middle" that means un-stitched, reassembled with the less worn sides of the centre part. The best and most precious sheets, the "fil de lin" were made from the longest and strongest fibres of flax, giving them suppleness and strength. The thread count of these "fil de lin" sheets is very high, giving them a quality that is hard to fine in newer work.

The natural colour of unbleached and/or or not heavily washed and used linen and hemp 
depends on the plant and the soil it came from. It ranges from off white /ecru through oatmeal, golden straw, light brown and shades of grey.

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"Fil de Lin" Draps - Over sheets
The so called "fil de lin" is the most expensive linen. 
Prices depend on the quality and size of the monogram and embroidery.

Important: 
The higher the thread count, the finer the weave,  
the lighter the weight and the higher the price.


Linen sheets:
The quality varies. 
The finest is of course the "fil de lin" as already described above.
Then there are the "normal" pure linen sheets, mainly used in the countryside and / or for the staff and servants of manor houses and chateaux. All with centre seams.
Now, the quality of this linen is not measured in the same way as the "fil de lin"
with "normal" pure linen,  
the heavier the weight, the better the quality
Of course, the weight also depends on the weave and the size. The same applies to sheets and pieces made of pure hemp.

Some sheets, towels and other pieces were also made of
different mix of fibres like Linen and hemp, hemp and broom, hemp and weath (yes!),
hemp and oat and..... it is a "wide field" and could fill a book.

Then - there is another kind of linen, known as "metis"
This is a mix of linen & cotton. 
The best quality is 70% linen and 30% cotton, produced from late 19th to early 20th century. 
Most 20th century pieces are made with a 50 -50 mix.
In price, it is the lowest of all Antique and Vintage linen.  
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It is very difficult to convey the quality of linen with photographs, it is a very tactile material, 
you can only really feel the quality and compare different kinds by having it in your hand. 
For me, a good guide is always the weight
I try to describe each piece as well as possible.

A few words about "draping"... 
The French "draps" are perfect for draping, their name of course comes from the same root. 
You still find them in small French country hotels to this day,they are bigger than a standard flat sheet, as they are folded back over the blanket and then tucked in round all the edges: 
draped around the bed in fact.
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Stay curious....

and should you "spot"/discover any Monogram you like,
should you wish to have further info -
please don't hesitate to contact me

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