Thursday, 21 October 2010


     This blue coffee pot is part of a machine embroidered border made in France quite recently to decorate kitchen shelving, pelmets and mantlepieces. These were very popular in the twenties and thirties and the picture on the right is typical of the borders worked by house-proud housewives. I think the patterns must have come in ladies' home or needlework magazines because there are a great many of them still about, some rather crude and comic, showing chefs chasing geese and cockerels, and others more artistic with bunches of cherries and fruit, coffee mills, spoons and other kitchenalia. They often had buttonhole edged scalloped borders and often come in quite long lengths. Applied to nursery and kitchen curtains they can be quite attractive.
     Many kitchens in France in the big old houses faced North or had very little natural light, and were furnished with dark brown oak or chestnut furniture, so the housewives must have felt the need for something gay and colourful while they slaved away in a gloomy place.


  1. What a brilliant idea to add them to the hems of curtains. With today's fitted kitchens there are rarely any suitable open shelves for these borders. Actually we found one along the mantelshelf above the huge fireplace when we bought our old renovation project house in Normandy many years ago - rather dangerous on a smaller conventional one. Now you've set me thinking!!! Convert old plain non-monogrammed hemp/linen sheets into curtains and edge with old borders to brighten them. Hurrah!

  2. Hi nice to have you back hope your trip was good ?? Penny and I went for a weekend and had a nice rest , still bought a bit of course ! off to Ardingly next week xx love Linda