indulge fanciful imaginations
improve (dance better, he said)
in-print in-the-pink and in-love
The day I found woad plants for sale, I shouted with joy as they are not commonly found in garden centers. In fact, I never had seen it growing before that day! Although some people consider woad a pervasive weed, it was the northern European version of indigo, used mostly by the early celts who painted their bodies with it before going naked, or nearly so, into battle.
The results of these vegetable dyes are a wonderfully soft palette of earthy colors ~~ not highly saturated. But they are color fast because of the mordants used.
This is what coming home looks like.
It is tiny, a mini-beaded quilt only about 6x7 inches.
I haven't put a back on it yet and need to decide what type of hanger to apply.
These women seemed to like naming their things!
I don't know what it was called but it was used to store linens
which were laid upon it and rolled up.
A ribbon at the top was tied to secure the package.
Linen is a brittle fiber;
folding for long periods causes the fibers to break.
Knowledgeable housewifes of the 19th and 20th centuries
devised ways to protect their precious commodities.
I love this linen and lace tea time placemat
These pieces did not come to me in pristine condition.
With few exceptions they were soiled, stained, musty and dusty.
I soak each piece in sodium perborate that I purchase thru a chemical shop on-line
sometimes for days
before drying and ironing
(no never in the dryer!).
Sometimes a piece falls apart in the bath
but mostly they come clean, sparkling, fresh
and ready to grace another table, bed or whatever.
I cherish hand-embroidered Madeira sheets and pillowcases from Portugal
an Edwardian-era silk cape for a child.
Two that did come to me in "as new" condition:
a banquet cloth with elaborate cutwork
of dancing women, musicians and 24 matching napkins in 2 sizes
a silk damask lined bedspread that is sooooo beautiful.
And on and on.....
Working with antique linens is a labor of love and a patient rescue operation.
It is impossible to do it without a deep respect for the textile,
its history and graceful design and the woman/women who executed it.