Sunday, May 4, 2014

Vintage linens...they speak to me, you?

Vintage linens just have a way about them that brings me fully into the moment.  Holding, washing, folding, decorating and even using them in my repurposing.  

The photo to the left shows several pieces of linen layered, providing an opaque window treatment. 

They call out to me of an earlier time.  A time when Mondays were wash days, Tuesdays folding and Wednesday ironing.  Some were used for utilitarian purposes, others merely for an elegant splash of sophistication.  From checked, to bright and vivid colors and design. to creamy cotton linen, each have a past and today, a future to those who love them...their look, their pedigree, their provenance.  

I just finished making my bed with fresh bedding for spring.  I went with a neutral palette with hints of cream, yellow, peach and green.  I want a room of rest and freshness, light and airy.  I accomplished what I was after. 

I had all of these items in my collection; used at different times in different combos.  Today they come together for this look.

For vintage linen care, here are my tips for making old look their best and brightest.

To remove stains, pour lemon juice over the stain, sprinkle with salt and let it sit in the sun for several hours.  Rinse through a couple of times then hang on a clothesline or, if possible, lay the linen in the grass, where the chlorophyll in the grass is a natural brightener.  If the stains are really stubborn, soak in luke warm water and mild detergent.  DON'T ever bleach.  Rinse many times.

When the cloth is damp and chilled, press with a very hot iron on the wrong side.  Work at it until they are completely dry.  Creasing the fabric can break fibers; so it is preferred that you don't iron them in.  In addition, folding fabric can weaken at the fold. It is best if you roll them, using cardboard wrapping paper rolls or mailing tubes.  Keep them stored in a well-ventilated place, out of light.

To finish my light and airy spring into summer look, I will use these items on my walls.  A vintage picture of sheep grazing, an old, chippy mirror and a vintage paint by number picture.  These items reflect the same colors and hues in the bedding.