Thursday, 14 November 2013


Pretty  cool!  cool and pretty!
   At the end of the 'frilly knickers' period of decorating 80s-90s, when extravagant ruched looks for curtains, pelmets, sofas. chairs had peaked (this was after the cheap shabby-chic, rather dowdy- looking style fell out of favour,) suddenly cream, linen, and expensive simplicity came as a positive relief. Husbands thought those miles of chintz terribly extravagant, (and the designer bills were outrageous) and were fed up with the uber-feminine excess of it all and welcomed the cool classic calm of linen, cotton and pastel colours
    I have pictures from a Californian Home Magazine which shows models and celebs standing in white linen suits, with ditto sofas and chairs , white walls and one good blob of colour provided by a well chosen, rug, or clock or picture. All that white linen told you that they were not afraid of the laundry and dry cleaning bills and they could afford to change it all for another set, another day. This is where I came in with my white linen and creamy hemp sheets which I had collected by the hundred in France and was able to sell for a fraction of the price of of the new stuff and it had twice the character, weight and charm of the machine-woven from Pierre Frey and other designer firms.  My prices were very low, because I had good sources and I was not afraid to buy linen in bulk and sort it all out before selling it in good clean usable state, with no hidden faults and problems.  The seconds were snapped up by film companies to be converted into the togas, shifts, tunics, gowns of every century right up to Elizabethan times as they were historically correct and were sufficiently rough and  rustic to show that they were all hand-woven, in hand-spun weaves and could be safely dyed any shade, much to the delight of the wardrobe ladies.
   Californians were particularly keen on my linens as they stood up to the strong sunshine, and shops who used to use cheapest calico to cover their soft furnishing soon 'cottoned on' and could cover the sofas and chairs in nubbly, tactile hemp and make record sales. I found too that these wealthy buyers, usually smart decorator designers, were pleased to buy the finest linen embroidered and lace edged bed linen and lots of best 1900 large dinner party sets of table napkins, the more noble crowns, initials and coats of arms, the better, quite often for their own personal use - a good 'perk' !   They did not have to battle with the rather formidable linen ladies in the Paris Flea Market and preferrerd to deal in their own language and make one big container load.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I am a vicar's wife and I hand embroider wedding monograms as presents for people my husband marries - I would love you to look at my blog: addisonembroideryatthevicarage.