Friday, March 28, 2008
Old Scottish linens for the bathroom
Quite often, when I buy a box of old linens at auction, I will find a little pile of Irish linen guest towels at the bottom of the box. Some of them will be well used and rather worn, but just occasionally I'll find some lovely old pieces of bathroom linen with hemstitching, damask patterns and finely hand made crochet edging. I always imagine that they were somebody's pride and joy, eighty or more years ago, perhaps made by a young woman before her wedding, when she was dreaming of setting up house for the first time. Generally, although not always, the crochet is at one end with perhaps the damask and hemstitching continued at the other end. The main fabric of these towels is of the type that I think is known as 'huckaback' in the USA - a nicely textured linen that makes them both useful and beautiful. People sometimes say to me 'but nobody uses these nowadays, do they?' Well, they do. I have a good friend - for instance - with a real flair for interior design. I'm contemplating asking her to do the occasional guest post on this blog. Whenever we visit her lovely old Lancashire house, I notice that she uses these old linen guest towels in her downstairs cloakroom. And I always find myself thinking how beautiful they look, in situ as it were. But I have also known her to use them to line shelves, with the crochet edging visible - particularly if you are displaying old glassware they look wonderful. And like all these old linens, they launder beautifully!
Posted by Catherine Czerkawska at 9:35 a.m.