I adore French linens and have bought, kept and sold them for nearly 2 decades. This basically is how my business started – far too many to keep and give as presents, so to fund my addiction a business was born. Besides the beautiful monograms found on sheets and tableware, I even love the simple monograms found on everyday linen that was used in the kitchen.
The French have a great tradition of trousseau monograms, his and her initials, or even family initials with a crest.
So, you would think I have armoires full of them but sadly, I don’t. Over the years I have kept a few pieces that do get regularly used, but see no point in storing linens if they aren’t going to be appreciated. I have some napkins for special dinners, beautiful sheets for when the sun is shining and quilts and duvets are packed away, and torchons for use in the kitchen. I’ve also used old linen sheets as curtains which here in France seem practical as well as easy: easy to sew, easy to launder.
As a way of incorporating and upcyling old linens, I have made a lot of cushions and shades. I think it is a wonder that women were so talented at embroidery that they built up a selection of linens for their trousseau and how sad that this tradition is no longer carried out. Although I wouldn’t relish the thought of having to do it myself, I can appreciate the work that so many women did and feel that even in this modern contemporary world, there is still a place to enjoy them all.