Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage Linen Finds

I had loads to do last week, but apparently that did not include cleaning, laundering, and pressing the linens I found at the flea market. They were in pretty yucky shape, wadded up any which way and from the home of a smoker, so I didn't share them on the blog along with the other bargain loot.

Now they're ready to make their debut.  Now, when I say "pressed" I mean I "ran them over once or three times with an iron." I need to make that distinction because my mother would have boiled up a pan of bluing and starch and ironed them on the linen setting until they were crispy and able to stand at attention of their own accord. While I have a great appreciation for the lost art of the laundress, I don't have the time. Oh, that and I like to sit down now and again.

Anyway, I digress. Here we go:

This dishtowel has exactly the 1960s-1970s colors I'm looking for in my kitchen rehab, and is Colonial Revival to boot. It is in perfect condition, and all it needed was de-stinkafication.

Up next was a Squealer. Meaning I squealed when I saw it. So much so I startled the other women pawing through the table of stuff, and my sister who said, "well, you're getting that," in the firm tone of voice one normally uses to deal with the slightly out of control.

I don't know where to start. I like the colors. I like the fact the woman who made this made the apron strings so they were wide and gathered into the waistband, so when starched (like I would know this, though of course my mother would), the bow is full and fluffy. I like the colors. I like the little black silhouette flocks which make up the design. I like how the garden gate becomes the fabric border.

I like the chickens. To distraction I like the chickens. See?

The last item, also another apron, isn't really special, and that's why I bought it:

And by "not special" I mean it seemed to be having some self-esteem problems, in amongst the organdy holiday aprons and extra awesome chicken aprons and lace pillowcases and the fancy-up the davenport doilies. But it spoke to me. It was made and worn by a woman with just the same sort of feedsack fabric that every other lady in the county had, in a simple "get the job done" pattern. It is scattered with the kind of food stains you find on the aprons of women who actually cook. I even noticed one apron string is cut from a strip including the selvage edge, and the maker left it unsewn. She used every bit of the fabric and saved herself some time (and thread) by taking advantage of the pre-bound selvage. I'm guessing she made a pretty darn fine pie, and wasn't afraid to get dirty to get her work done. I only wish there had been a recipe card in the pocket, but I'll bet she didn't use one. Wherever the owner is, I hope she was just as proud of this apron as the good-for-company ones she may have owned. I'm glad it has a new home, and I may even wear it the next time I bake. It seems pretty inspirational to me.

1 comment:

  1. Those are really beautiful. And I'm with you on the sitting down thing. :) Old aprons always make me feel such a sense of history. I love them, every one. That one with the barnyard scene is fantastic especially.