So many beautiful items spring to mind at the mention of the word ‘antique’, be it fine eighteenth and nineteenth century English and French antique furniture, vintage and decorative antiques, even old garden furniture now has its place in this eclectic group, but we must not forget antique textiles! Indeed at the moment, they are far from forgotten, with a continuing resurgence in their popularity, use and desirability.
Antique linens are particularly in demand at present, their flexibility means they suit so many interiors and have a wide ranging appeal, be it thick linen embroidered cream or white napkins resting happily on beautiful antique dining tables or in modern homes, where linen tea towels add rustic charm to even the most mundane of jobs!
Today we value sustainability and antique linens are not only practical but they also help our carbon footprint. Sometimes they have been recycled and may have old hand sewn repairs, which are now admired and respected, showing the love and care taken to preserve these beautiful antique textiles by previous generations. At Angela George Antiques any repairs are always listed in the item description. For generations antique French linen has been grown in a natural and sustainable way, with French farmers using very little water and fertilizers to grow their flax plants, due to the cool and wet weather conditions in Northern coastal France, where linen production has historically thrived. Even when linen cloth comes to the end of its lifespan it is biodegradable.
The climate also gives French linen its fantastic strength and durability. In the past, particularly in the northern coastal areas of France flax plants were able to grow to their natural length, and not become broken and weakened before reaching maturation, which gave French linen the extra strength for which it is still so admired today. So much so that it is now popular to use antique linen for upholstery, especially on footstools or French antique armchairs, adding a contemporary twist to typical antique chairs. Long may antique linen continue to be valued and used!