27 Uses for Vintage Linens (2022)

27 Green Uses for Vintage Linens

Upcycle vintage linens with these 27 project ideas. Learn why you need to buy that linen piece you found at the thrift store or garage sale. These crafts from recycled vintage linens are for every skill level and will make a unique, thoughtful and one-of-a-kind gift.

27 Uses for Vintage Linens (1)

Linen is a remarkable and rare natural fibre. It’s more durable than cotton. It’s stain-resistant and soil-resistant. It’s also lint-free. Heirloom linen can be found in thrift shops, second-hand stores, estate sales, auctions, and antique malls. It has a unique crispness, which the trained hand can feel. Cool to the touch, if you squeeze it, it responds with defined wrinkle lines. Unless it is pressed a folded edge will be curved and springy. Yes, you need to iron it if you want to put it on a table and see the shiny, exquisite surface glow in the candlelight. But it doesn’t need to be ironed for every purpose.

Two kinds of linen fabrics

In this article, I’m not speaking generically about linen to mean any household textile, but rather the specific household textiles made from fibres of the flax plant. There are two kinds of linen but many weaves of linen. Linen is the exquisite long fibres combed from fibre flax stocks that are put through a tortuous and elaborate process to release their treasured fibre. Tow linen is the discarded shorter fibres that are a waste product of hackling the longer linen fibres. Technically tow is not linen, as linen by definition is a fibre that is at least 12 inches long. But the definition of linen has changed drastically since 2008. Today most vintage linen will still be made from the longer linen fibres and will retain all the amazing qualities found in linen. New linen may no longer be of this high quality. Reputable linen shops like the Irish Linen shop in Victoria, BC (one of my most favourite stores) will be able to advise you on your purchase of new linen.

Qualities of linen

  • Sheen
  • Soil resistance
  • Wicks moisture
  • Bleaches and disinfects in sunshine
  • Long-wearing
  • Lint-free
  • Crisp hand
  • Beautiful and sensual
  • Non-irritating
  • Non-allergenic
  • Generally chemical-free
  • Nontoxic
  • Nontoxic when burned

How to clean old linen

To clean old linen, first, check for soundness. Don’t try to wash antique linen that might be compromised. Antique linen of great value should be cleaned by a curation professional in fabric restoration. But if your linen is sound, with no holes or weakness, and you intend to actually use it, just put it in the washing machine in your light-coloured load. If there are stains, many can be removed by adding a ½ cup of washing soda to the wash and then hanging the linen on a clothesline in full sun. Sunlight naturally disinfects and whitens linen fabric. Polyesters tend to hang on to their stains but linen releases stains. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can flood the stained area with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Dab a little baking soda on the stain, brush into the fibres with a soft toothbrush and let it sit for an hour. Then launder as usual. This should release the stains.

Use them as table linens

Use them as they were intended in your home

Linen table cloths and napkins are unlike any other household linen. They get better and softer with repeated washings. They continue to iron up crisply with a sheen that only linen displays. If you are blessed with heritage linens from your grandmother or mother, use them. And be delighted that your thoughtful relatives kept them for you. You can’t get linen-like old linen anymore.

If you plan to use old linen table cloths on your dining room table, you’ll want to iron them. Iron with a steam iron on the hottest setting – the linen setting. Spritz the fabric with a natural linen spray. (You can find the recipe that I use here.). The wrinkles will disappear like magic, leaving behind a smooth, sheen on the surface.

Repurpose them as household linens

Replace disposable paper napkins with linen napkins

27 Uses for Vintage Linens (2)Thrift store linen napkins can be found for 25 cents to $1 per napkin. A matching set of 4 or 8 napkins at an antique mall might set you back $8 to $16 and up to $25. The higher-priced napkins will be linen Damask, an exquisite weave that has a design in satin weave offset by a matt surface. The design will repeat on the back of the napkin, but what was shiny on the top surface will be matt on the back and vice versa. In double damask, both designs will be shiny. Expect to pay more for heavy damask linens. Damask is woven with the highest quality of linen threads and by expert weavers. They are beautiful and feel wonderful. They were very popular as wedding gifts 100 years ago – expect to see more of them in thrift shops as the younger generation discard their ancestors’ heirloom linen. Their loss is your gain because you now know their value. Modern linens can’t come close to matching the quality and longevity of vintage linens.

You’ll notice with damask weave napkins that the pattern on the napkin is a miniature version of the larger pattern on the table cloth. Matching napkin and tablecloth sets in vintage linen are worth a lot. A new set will cost several hundred dollars, while a vintage set in good condition is worth even more, because of the higher quality found in the older linen. Please don’t cut up a beautiful set in good condition for any of these projects. Use them instead on your own table or give them as a gift to someone you love. But if you have stray napkins or damaged tablecloths, the remainder of this article is for you.

(Video) 10 Creative Ways to Use Vintage Linens

Cut damaged linen table cloths into smaller napkin size pieces – hem with a machine stitch and the table cloth will have new life.

Use old linen as tea towels

The Edwardian maids and butlers cleaned their household glasses and silverware exclusively with linen cloths. Long fibered table linens are lint-free. Lower quality tow linen, woven from the shorter waste linen fibres, will be linty but very absorbent. Larger dinner napkins are the perfect size to be used as tea towels. Larger damaged tablecloths can be cut into smaller sizes, hemmed, and used as tea towels, as well. Don’t be hesitant to repurpose linen as tea towels. Linen towels will outlive their cotton counterparts by many years if they are made from the longer, quality linen fibres.

On the other hand, most modern linen towels, have been cottonized, so that they can be easily blended with cotton fibres and processed on the same machines that are used for cotton. Cottonized linen has been mechanically and chemically treated to shorten and weaken the linen fibres. It lacks the longevity and wear of older linen. If you are buying new linen towels be sure that you are getting real long-fibered linen and not cottonized linen.

Get rid of disposable products with old linen replacements

Turn old linens into handkerchiefs – get rid of the Kleenex® box

Linen is the most natural fibre to use for handkerchiefs. It is lint-free and won’t increase airborne allergens. It can be sterilized with an iron. It is stain-resistant and isn’t easily damaged by hard washing. It can be sanitized in sunlight. You can simply repurpose table napkins into handkerchiefs, but a better strategy is to cut an older table cloth, one of the finer woven ones, into 12-inch squares and hem them. A new linen handkerchief today will set you back $25. But you can make dozens from a single table cloth. I regularly find linen table cloths in the $4 to $10 range at thrift shops here.

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Replace your paper towel roll with linen cloths

Linen is super absorbent. It is lint-free. You can increase its absorbency by doubling up the layers or backing a linen layer with a layer of towelling, for big spills. Simply cut out rectangles that are sized for the paper towels that you like to use – 10 x 14 or 10 x 7 are popular sizes. Put two layers of linen or a layer of linen and a layer of towelling together. Stitch with an overlock stitch to secure the edges. Press and they are ready for use. You can roll them in a paper towel roll by affixing snap closures or buttons and buttonholes to either side of each towel and roll them on your paper towel rack. Or just leave them in a basket. Find the pattern here.

Replace your plastic wrap with wax impregnated linen napkins or rectangles cut from old table linens

Old linens are usually dye-free and bleach-free. Older linens were bleach with washing soda and sunlight. They don’t give off dioxins nor formaldehyde and are free of BPA. You can safely use them for food wraps. Impregnate hemmed linen cloths or napkins with melted beeswax and allow to dry. They can be used in place of plastic wrap for food storage. The instructions for unplastic wrap are here on My Healthy Green Family.

Sandwich bags from old linen

Wax impregnated linens can be sewn into sandwich bags and snack sacks

Wax your flat linen fabric and then make a sandwich bag by Folding and stitching. The bag can be closed with a button closure. This makes a nontoxic eco-friendly lunch bag.

But even without the wax, linen keeps your snacks fresh by absorbing moisture. See if a drawstring sandwich bag works for you. The ideal size is 4 x 6 inches.

(Video) Make Note Cards from Vintage Linens

Reusable lunch bags

A few years ago sewing reusable lunch bags out of plastic table cloth sheeting (aka fake oil cloth) was popular. I made a couple. But they smelled strongly of vinyl and weren’t exactly healthy and eco-friendly. Just cutesy. You can use heavy damask linen instead and make a reusable lunch bag that you’d be proud to take to work. It is lightweight, reusable, eco-friendly, biodegradable, and green. It can be flattened to carry home in your purse or computer bag. Close with a pretty upcycled button and a decorative buttonhole. Use this pattern but cut it out of heavy linen canvas or damask instead of plastic.

Reusable produce bags

Linen is better than plastic because it naturally absorbs moisture and then releases it back into the food. It also keeps the food cool. It’s naturally antibacterial. Stitch up some reusable produce bags from thinner linen tablecloths, to take to the farmer’s market and the grocery store. Lighter-weight tablecloth fabric won’t significantly increase the weight of your produce at the scale and will save plastic bags. Linen is breathable and long-lasting. Make them last for years with French seams. Ideal sizes: 5 x 8 inches, 9 x 12 inches, 14 x 16 inches, and 20 x 14. You can decorate them with iron-on pictures or stamp them with fabric paints to make them prettier. Linen takes dyes and fabric paints well.

Wrap your produce according to produce type when you get it home from the market, using linen bags and beeswax impregnated squares for longevity.

Reusable bread bag

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I’ve been looking for a solution for plastic bread bags that didn’t involve resurrecting my wooden bread box to the countertop. I think I’ve found it. People have been using linen to store bread for years. Linen is naturally antibacterial. It is breathable. Linen bread bags work by absorbing moisture and releasing it back into the bread, keeping your bread from drying out. Stitch up a [reusable bread bag with the drawstring closure for storing your homebaked bread and artisan sourdough bread. Use French seams and you’ll create a bread bag to use over and over again for years and years. These make lovely wedding gifts, too. And with the drawstring, you can even hang your loaves out of the way. Suggested sizes: 13 x 15 for rolls and artisan bread, and 7 x 25 inches for baguettes.

Here’s a tutorial to get you started on Attainable Sustainable.

Wrap a gift

Gift wrap – use linen and ditch the disposable wrapping paper

A square linen napkin makes exquisite gift wrap. Use Furoshiki gift wrapping techniques and wow your friends with gift wrap they can use again, like a tea towel, or napkin.

Make gift bags

Because linen is a natural fibre it takes dyes, fabric paints, and other fabric embellishment techniques very well. You can decorate your vintage linen fabric and then sew gift bags that can be reused year after year. Consider repurposing vintage linen with embroidered embellishments for this project and give some new life to another woman’s labour of love. Use your artistry and save $$. Dollar store gift bags are $1 to $4 each here in Canada and a single vintage table cloth can make dozens of gift bags that can be reused year after year.

Make a gift

Heirloom linen that’s been handed down generation after generation can be repurposed as gifts for grandkids, nieces, and nephews.

(Video) Styling Thrifted Linens

Make a teddy bear

A stitched teddy bear made from grandma’s table cloth can share the blessings around the family tree. For this, you’ll need to find a teddy bear pattern in a book or online. Teddy bears stitch up quickly and can be made as simple or as elaborate as you have time for. Jointed legs, embroidered features, and personal embellishment can create an heirloom bear from heirloom linen.

Make a rag doll

One of the most difficult things about making a rag doll is finding appropriate flesh-toned fabric for the doll’s body. Vintage linen is often the perfect colour already, but you can make it less white by staining it with tea, coffee, or cocoa before you cut out the body shape. Embroider a face and a heart and create beautiful clothes out of fabric scraps.

Make a heating pad/comfort bag

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One linen napkin is big enough to make a neck heating pad/comfort bag and a pair of hand warmers. Fold the linen napkin along the long edge in thirds. One third will be two hand warmers and the other two-thirds is folded in half and stitched for a neck heating pad. Follow the directions here. Fill with rice or flaxseed.

Make a baby sunbonnet

Baby sunbonnets were traditionally made from handkerchief linen. Here are the instructions to make a baby bonnet out of a linen handkerchief.

Make a bed pillow sham

Remember grandma with a pillow sham from her table cloth. Size it to the pillow inserts available at your local bed and bath store. Embellish it with embroidered names and dates on the back. You can print the linen fabric with a picture or one of grandma’s colloquialisms, before stitching. The materials that you need to print on fabric with your inkjet printer are readily available and easy to use.

First Aid

Bandages for your first aid kit

Before sticky bandages and sterile gauze became readily available, women used to tear linen cloth into strips and roll it into bandages. Linen was the fabric of choice because it could be sterilized by boiling or ironing, it was lint-free and wouldn’t infect a wound, and it was naturally antibacterial. During WW1 women at home tore up old linen sheets and table cloths and sent the bandages to the war front to help in the war effort. The longer linen fibres are less likely than cotton to stick to a wound but to gently remove it, soak it in warm water before lifting it off a scab.

Use it as a sling

Cut a 40-inch square and keep it in your first aid kit to be used as a sling. Linen is ideal for sling material because it is non-stretchy and will help to immobilize a broken or sprained arm or wrist.

Decorate with old linens

Make café curtains

The large, expansive linen tablecloths are seamless and offer ample fabric for café curtains. Add a cheerful gingham strip along the bottom, to add weight and colour, and make them hang well.

(Video) Wash day! Caring for vintage linens.

Convert old linens into accent pillows

Much of the old linen I’m finding in thrift shops is stiff linen pieces already stamped with embroidery patterns. Often, these natural beige pieces were never attempted or never completed. The linen is beautiful, and the embroidery stamping will wash off. You can embroider the stamped pattern, embroider your own pattern, or leave them plain. They make the perfect canvas to add your own personal touch in patchwork, fabric stamping, heirloom sewing, embroidery, or applique. You can sew it into a pillow by seaming up three sides, stuffing, and then sewing the fourth side closed. Or you can make a pillow slip by overlapping fabric at the back of the cushion and leaving it open to insert a pillow form. Linen is naturally soil resistant and long-wearing. A well-made accent pillow will last for many years.

Make an ironing board cover

Linen is the ideal ironing board cover because it isn’t damaged by the highest heat of an iron. Most ironing board covers today are made of cotton that has been coated with toxic flame retardants to prevent them from scorching. They are padded with toxic plastic foam. Plastic releases toxins when heated. On the other hand, Linen is naturally scorch-resistant. To make an ironing board cover put wool batting or cut a damaged wool blanket to size, between two pieces of linen and insert a pocket for elastic around the outer edge. Size it to fit your ironing board.

Wear old linens

27 Uses for Vintage Linens (6)

Make a child’s sundress

Linen is cool in summer. It wicks moisture away from the skin. It gets softer with each washing. Older linens have already been conditioned and make exquisite summer clothes. Choose a tablecloth that is showing some wear and tear and cut around the worn spots for a lovely child’s sundress. If you have vintage embroidered linen pieces, consider using them in this project, and giving new life to another woman’s labour of love.

Make an heirloom nightgown

Linen nightgowns are the perfect foil for heirloom sewing techniques like pintucks, gathers, lace, and embroidery. Turn a soft linen tablecloth into an heirloom nightgown for summertime wear. For an adult nightgown, you may require two tablecloths of similar weight. A child’s nightgown can be sewn from a single tablecloth. Again with this project, consider using some of the pretty embroidered pieces and giving new life to another woman’s handwork.

Make an apron

Many of the tourist linens from Belgium, France, Holland, and Ireland are printed in bold prints and never used. These are sturdy fabrics and can be used in gathering aprons and harvest aprons. Find them in your local thrift store.


Make artist canvas

Fine art canvases are often made from evenly woven linen canvas, stretched on a frame, and then primed with gesso to prepare it for paint. While many linen tablecloths will be too fine for this application, heavier linen canvases such as linen towelling and linen canvasses will work well. Consider creating a work of art from the fibre arts of the past.

27 Uses for Vintage Linens (7)

This is just a shortlist of all the wonderful projects that can be made out of vintage linen napkins, tablecloths, handkerchiefs, towels, and other beautiful artisanal embroidered work that you find in your local thrift store, second-hand shop, or antique store, or maybe just in Great Grandma’s linen cupboard. While you won’t want to cut up that double damask table cloth with 8 matching napkins that Great Grandma has been saving for a special occasion since her wedding, for the other, not so special vintage linen pieces these are creative ways to give new life to old linens. I’ve got a few of these projects on my list already. For more ideas check out my Pinterest board dedicated to new uses for vintage linens.

(Video) One of my must have tools for Vintage linens/ textiles


Is there a market for old table linens? ›

How Valuable Are Old Linens? Vintage linens can range in value from under five dollars to hundreds of dollars. They can be an affordable item to collect if you're just starting out, but you can also invest in special pieces for a high-end collection.

Does anyone buy old linens? ›

Some of the best avenues to sell these colorful printed tablecloths are eBay, Etsy, and collectors' groups on Facebook that specialize in vintage linens. Most vintage printed tablecloths on Etsy and eBay sell for between $20-$35. They typically sell for a bit less in Facebook groups.

How do you repurpose linens? ›

Practical gifts upcycled from vintage linens! Paganoonoo Sewing Tip ...

How do you display old linens? ›

Display vintage quilts by folding them best-side-out and stacking in an open or glass-fronted cabinet, or stack one or two on top. You can also drape them over quilt racks or mount them using quilt wall hangers. Decoupage vintage calendar towels to canvas and mount them as wall art.

What can you do with old handkerchiefs? ›

11 nifty ways to reuse old vintage handkerchiefs
  • Party banners. Party banners are all the rage right now. ...
  • Bracelets. Braided and colorful, these bracelets make a fun DIY and great gifts too. ...
  • Baby burp cloth. ...
  • Vintage jewelry pouch. ...
  • Window valance. ...
  • Pillows. ...
  • Table runner. ...
  • A patchwork scarf.
Apr 6, 2017

How can you tell Irish linen? ›

The Irish Linen brand's trademark is the focus of all promotional activities. It can only be used to mark genuine Irish linen products such as linen yarn, which is spun in Ireland, and linen fabrics woven in Ireland by members of the Guild.

How do you get stains out of vintage linens? ›

When you have a lovely vintage linen with just one or two small, stubborn stains, try treating it with a few squirts of juice from a fresh lemon, followed by ordinary table salt. Let the mixture sit for a time, then rinse it with warm water, followed by white vinegar.

What were old tablecloths made of? ›

Tablecloths have been in use since the Middle Ages in all but the very poorest homes. Linen as a table covering started with the aristocracy in France and Italy and spread throughout Europe as well as through the social classes. Cotton and silk also became popular table coverings.

What is Rice linen? ›

Note: Rice linen is NOT the same as linen made from flax. Pieces woven from rice linen are sheer white, usually with exquisitely delicate white hand embroidery. The fabric is fragile. It must the handled with TLC; it will not withstand frequent use or launderings.

How do you reuse a lace tablecloth? ›

You could even use them as place name holders at a dinner party by stamping names on them! 4) Decorate plain crackers with scraps of lace doilies. You could add some extra sparkle by gluing on vintage buttons, or a pretty diamante brooch. 5) Make stockings to hang from your fireplace from old linen tablecloths.

What can I do with old linens and lace? ›

New Purpose for Vintage Linens and Lace

Vintage linens and lace are gaining in popularity again, not so much for their original use, but for their potential. Quilters find antique tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs and other linens, and transform them into fabric art, cushions, table toppers and other useful items.

Whether you've inherited a box of old linens from your grandmother and other family or simply found them in a thrift store or rummage sale, you've hit a

Check out these 15 adorable vintage linen DIYs that really put your beautiful old pieces to good use!. Do you have a collection of vintage pillow cases that you don’t often use, but that feature gorgeous edging and embroidered corners?. If you’ve inherited a collection of beautiful lace linens, then you might have also been gifted a series of pretty lace doilies too!. Dottie Angel guides you through the process of making a gorgeous table runner that harnesses the beauty of the prints, embroidery, and lace so often featured in the linens, sheets, and pillow cases of generations past.. Do you have a box of old table clothes that feature gorgeous vintage prints and maybe even a bit of embroidery, but you’re not likely to use them on your own dining table?. Whether you’ve got vintage table clothes, napkins, dish towels, bed sheets, or pillow cases, you’ll find that they’re all a gold mine for making pretty embroidered patches for your quilt.. By creating this adorable handbag, you’re putting beautifully patterned sheets, table clothes, or pillow cases to much better use than your linen closet it.

Vintage Linens can still be found - in grandmas linen cupboard and in second-hand stores. Learn how to identify and use vintage linen in your cozy home.

Polyester is a manmade fiber, made from petrochemicals.. Now vintage linen napkins won’t be marked as such.. In this article, I’m not speaking generically about linen to mean any household textile, but rather the specific household textiles made from fibers of the flax plant.. Linen is the exquisite long fibers combed from fiber flax stocks that are put through a tortuous and elaborate process to release their treasured fiber.. If the cloth is woven in plain weave or in a simple balanced twill and is using color as its design feature, it could be Raime, hemp, or flax-tow.. One of the easiest fibers to grow on your homestead, for clothing and household textiles is linen.

Here are 5 ways to upcycle vintage linens such as hankies, dresser scarfs, and table linens.

In my collection there is one common downside to many of the pieces I want to upcycle—most have decorated corners or edges and nothing going on in the center.. The fabric to which you attach your linen piece should be backed with a lightweight fusible interfacing.. Even a piece of golden threads or tracing paper underneath the base fabric helps insure these fragile linens don’t bunch up while sewing.. To maximize the best of the embroidery, I fold the pieces at the edge of the embroidered area and pull the two folded edges together to create a square with embroidery in the center.. A large number of the pieces I come across are handkerchiefs with pretty corners and plain centers.. I want to use the corners without cutting the handkerchief so I have a technique for folding the corners instead.. Gently fold each corner into the fold marks so they meet in the center, with the front of the embroidery facing up.. Press the stabilizer to the back of the fabric and trim to a quarter inch smaller square than the folded piece.. Using a slightly longer than default stitch length and an ecru thread to match the handkerchief (clear would also work), I sew along the edges of these corners to secure them to the base fabric.. The edges of this very delicate fabric are now bias, so in order to attach it to my pillow front, I just sew the corners using a few zig zag stitches and holding it still or dropping the feed dogs so it doesn’t move.. When you have a straight on linen that is smaller than another, or you have created a piece either folded end to end or corners folded in you can use these to layer onto another linen that is plain in the center.. Embroidery or painting would be lovely here if you like to do that kind of work, I want to make a small art quilt the size of the center rectangle and place it onto the linen.

3 Tips for sewing with vintage linens including vintage sheets, pillowcase and hankies. Lots of fun ideas for things to make with old linens.

Today I’m going to share with you a few tips to for caring for and sewing with vintage linens.. I’ve also included a list of things you can make with vintage hankies, sheets & pillowcases.. I ADORE vintage linens, I love the fabric, the patterns, and the bright and original colors.. I know that many people believe that you should NOT change/sew/or repurpose vintage handkerchiefs or other linens.. If you’ve not sewn with vintage linens before, there are a few things you should know before you start.. I’m going to share with you a few tips to care for the vintage linens, then give you a few ideas of just what kinds of things you can sew with them.. The first thing you’ll want to do when you get your vintage linens home is to clean them.. Also, be sure to test for colorfastness before you get ANY vintage linen wet.. If you are sewing a quilt or other large scale item and find that you run out of vintage linens, you can easily mix store-bought fabric in.. You can either substitute it for the vintage linen (assuming you’re using hankies, tablecloths will be an entirely different weight of fabric) or sew your vintage fabric ONTO the voile.. If you sew the hankie fabric onto the voile it will also help to stabilize what may be otherwise fragile fabrics.. Since many vintage linens are a cotton blend or are a bit fragile, you’ll want to make sure that you use a SHARP needle.. If the linens are very lightweight or somewhat fragile (like Vintage Handkerchiefs), I use a bit of starch to give them a bit more body when I’m working with them.. If you don’t have antique stores in your area, you can buy a lot of vintage linens on Etsy .. Before you buy vintage linen or sheet, check for tears or stains.

Most Victorian houses were built with a linen closet, discover the world of vintage linens.

In the late Victorian era, one could buy three. or four yards of the coarse fabric for about a dollar;. however, it was possible to pay one hundred times as much. for a dozen napkins and a tablecloth, three or four yards. long, of the finer quality.. Plain damask with hemstitching cost from one dollar. and a half to two dollars a square yard; and one dollar more. for a cloth measuring two square yards.. Cotton cloth made a most satisfactory. year-round sheet, and a good quality could be purchased at. from twenty-five cents to seventy-five cents per yard, the. cloth being from two to two yards and a half wide.. The. Ladies Home Journal said one could buy good sheets already. made, two yards and a half wide, for one dollar and a. quarter to one dollar and a half apiece.. Damask towels, which were really. more for show than use, cost from twenty-five cents to two. dollars and a half.. A twilled. crash of cotton and linen, which could be bought from twelve. and a half to fifteen cents a yard, made satisfactory hand. towels.

Linens have always been the "lowest of the low" in the antiques world, they were "woman's work," household furnishings in the realm of housekeeping. Most have no particular value unless you have a buyer for them. (a provenance from royalty or museum quality importance may be an exception, but not always.) My main advice would be to keep and use anything that attracts or bedazzles you or that may be particularly useful such as old towels for dust cloths and have a tag sale with the rest.

Demand constantly changes but since 2008, mainstream trends are for things that look like Pottery Barn, hotel linens and items that are brand new.. WHAT'S GOOD :. Bigger is often better (although "too big" can be another problem); perfect is better; rare is better; gorgeous is better; unused condition is better; high quality is better and, often, older is better.. VALUES :. I encourage you to buy books on linens and laces and textiles and spend a little time becoming familiar withthem.. Check the value of an item by searching ebay's "completed listings" to see what prices similar things have realized.. Most likely, you will not be thrilled by the prices of things but it is a great barometer for current prices and/or to see what is in demand.. Searching ebay for things that are similar takes time, especially when you have box-loads of things.. • look for someone in your area who will appraise (yellow pages: appraisers, auction houses) or buy them outright. • visit local antiques shops and antique shows and look for someone who sells textiles.. CONDITION :. Even though stacks of linens often appear to be in perfect condition, you absolutely must completely unfold each piece and unwrap decades-old cleaning tissues, ribbons and plastics to really see what's what!. Many times I have been assured that items were never used but when I unfolded a towel or tablecloth they were full of stains and holes.. When items were professionally cleaned and have been stored still bearing drycleaning tags and labels, we assume that nobody would have bothered sending damaged items to a laundry or dry cleaners... but, in times past, everyone was more apt to repair their family linens and to continue to use things until they fell apart.. I have opened dry cleaning bags that had tablecloths full of patches and holes; the former owner just needed the cloth to be clean and never worried about the holes.. (Relatively) VALUABLE ITEMS :. Items that were made before 1900 (earlier is preferable: 1780-1850s) in impeccable condition.. monograms: a single letter is preferable than a monogram with two or three initials. linen pillowcases in superb condition that will fit queen/king sized pillows. handkerchiefs from the mid-1800s with handmade lace edging (that is not crocheted lace). paisley shawls: most desirable are hand woven kani weave or hand embroidered. old handmade lace from the 1600s and 1700s such as bobbin laces and needle laces. or things that just seem mesmerizing and beautiful. TO SUM UP :. In the past decade, droves of antique stores have gone out of business because "used things" are not in style.. Call a local auction house, sell things on ebay, get on with living and let them go without regret!


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Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.