During these hot summer days, when nights hardly cool down,
there is nothing more pleasing than to sleep under beautiful old linen.
Linen sheets breathe, and are as comfortable as they are beautiful.
A light weight cool feeling to awaken refreshed!
...add a touch of luxury to your beds
Lavishly embroidered with lovely, and often quite large and elaborate, monograms
Antique French Linen Drap's of high quality are mainly in two types:
fil de lin, which is a fine linen made of high thread-count,
and lin, a regular weight of linen.
The normal size is approx. from 90" wide by 130" long - plus/minus,
suitable for a Queen size or even a King size bed.
The linens in fine fil de lin are lighter in weight than the ones of pure linen and,
the higher the thread count, the finer the linen, the lighter the weight.
The pure linen ones the weight is always a sign of good quality;
the heavier the higher the quality.
An over- or top-sheet is called in French a Drap
The word Drap comes from "a draper" which means draping.
fil de lin - lin - different weaves - different texture - different colors - different weight
image Cote Sud 2005
The marking, or monogramming, of linen is rooted in the patterns
and culture of everyday life over several centuries.
Alphabet published in La mode Illustrée No50, 15 December 1867
Monogrammed pieces initially represented only the bride's name
as the groom may not have been known.
As that information became apparent the monogram might have taken many forms,
including a combination of the Groom's and Bride's names.
An exceptional embroidery of high finesse,
finely conceived and executed, untold hours of painstaking embroidery work.
130" long by 96,5" wide, embroidery: 17" by 9"
Heavy but fine pure linen in a beautiful natural light stone gray tone color,
in the exceptional size of 142" long by 90,5" wide, weight: 2,5 Kg.
With a large monogram of the size of 10" by 11", around 1900
...and superb embroidery in pure white silk
This diamond-shaped design is typical for the "Belle epoque" - around 1900
fil de lin, monogram and embroidery size: 8,5" by 7,5"
light oatmeal color
Around 1900, size of embroidery 10,5" by 9,5"sold
Various conventions were accepted at different times and were often supported
by etiquette books and embroidery tutorials found in every form
of written material from catalogs to newspapers.
Alphabet for monogram in plumetis for lingerie, 1930
fil de lin in pure withe "avec retour"
Monogram size 9" by 5,5"
ART DECO alphabet published in "Mon Ouvrage" in the 1930's
An exceptional set of a Drap and two pillow shams,
made of the finest and very high thread-count linen - fil de lin,
a superb quality and in excellent, unused, condition.
Art Deco - 1930's
This Drap comes in a very large size of 142" long by 94,5" wide, in a light weight of 1200 grams,
and with a triple monogram.
The European tradition is that the central letter is the husband's initial,
the side letters are the first name initials of husband and wife.
But there are exceptions:
A wife could monogram her personal things using a triple monogram,
with the initials of her first name, maiden name and husband's name.
.....and in its original ivory color
One of the most finest and elegant linens you could think about!
All of genuine linen Draps, as well as pillow shams,
are embroidered with Anglais, de bourdon (satin stitch dots or squares),
de plumetis - "point de bourdon", or other interesting hand stitches,
and most also have rows of jour, jour de venise, or drawn work, and/or cutwork.
Some of it "avec retour",
which means that the embroidery travels up the sides of the sheet for approx. 30"-40"
My linens come from family linen Armoires,
and are reminiscent of a life filled with fine things,
and young girls 'embroidering their trousseaus'.
From the youngest age the bride-to-be prepared and often herself created her trousseau
without yet knowing to whom she would one day be married.
The word "trousseau"comes from the ancient French word "trouser", to wrap as in a package.
In German: "Aussteuer" (consisting mainly of household linen)
The trousseau was, in effect, the package of linens that the young bride brought
with her upon leaving her family home.
She embroidered her initials on her bedclothes,
and on her finest linens she always left a space for those of her future husband
as she would not yet have known what initials these would be. (1)
'Drap de marriage' in fil de lin with a superb scalloped border,
each scallop decorated with floral motifs. Pure white and from the 19th cent!!ury,
'avec retour', a return of 36" on each side...
SOLD - Thank you!
.....and a large monogram in the size of 11" x 6", weight 1,6 Kg
The trousseau was often comprised of numerous sheets (twelve was common for a wealthy family),
numerous dish and hand towels, napkins and tablecloths patiently and meticulously embroidered.
This 'Queen size' Drap in linen still retains its original natural color which means that it was never bleached.
88" wide by 122" long, 'avec retour' of 33", weight: 2,3 Kg,
a wonderful and very pleasing oatmeal color
19th century fil de lin with center seam
and a large monogram embroidered in the early 20th centurysee also here: Old Linen and Lavender
Searching for an exact monogram can be a fun (or even frustrating!) adventure.
But as you can see - or as you have noticed during reading this post or looking at the images,
the letter combinations were quite varied,
so try not to limit yourself to a rigid pattern.
You will fall in love with pieces just because of their beauty.
Alphabet Monogram published "La Mode Illustrée", Paris 1865
Related beautiful posts by Trish from Trouvais:
'Linen to dye for'...
Linen is a remarkably versatile fabric which comes in a great variety of textures.
It is a beautiful, highly absorbent and also durable fabric,
having at least two to three times the strength of cotton.
Linen is much smoother and more lustrous than cotton and,
presenting a less "woolly" surface, it does not soil so readily,
nor absorb and retain moisture so freely, as the more spongy cotton.
People who have tried linen sheets claim
that they have a much more peaceful and sound sleep in linen than in cotton.
French Fine Linen Draps
elegant - fresh - crisp and soft - cool
just simply a dream!
Should you see anything you like,
please send me an email for further information.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer
with sunny days, cool and restful nights!