Saturday, 23 August 2008

Lovely Linen

On Wednesday and Thursday last week I had a slight problem with the car, so I was in Bellac early this morning (well early for me) for the garage to look at it. Unfortunately the noise it was making on Wednesday and Thursday has not reappeared, so the mechanic couldn't diagnose it, but he was a very nice man and told me to bring it back when it next made the noise - preferably while it was still making the noise.

However, on the way home, after a cup of tea and a good chat with Sandra, I popped into a fantastic brocante (Herve Ritter) which was where I bought my French bed (and he delivered it for free!). Now this brocante has got better and better since I first visited it and it is a pleasure to look round - and today was no exception. The front part of the place is done out like a little shop and they had a display of pure linen on bolts, by the metre, as well as in tea towels (which it was originally used for) and made into a variety of items (I bought a tote bag for 15 Euros). The linen was absolutely fabulous, and Herve's wife (who is normally the one running the place) told me it is woven in northern France in the old way, on the original machines. As I said, at one time this material was sold for Torchons (tea towels) and every home in France would have some. The linen is evenweave so you can cross stitch a monogram on it if you want to, and people often did.

I can see several possibilities for things to make with it, but I knew it would shrink like mad, so decided I had to wash it before starting anything. Which I duly did, and I reckon it has shrunk by nearly 20%!!!! Not that that was a problem (I bought 5 metres of each style, knowing that would happen and I'd be left with 4) but I didn't realise just what a nightmare it would be to iron! I may have to wash it again with fabric softener and see if that helps. Anyway, even rather creased, it is beautiful.

I'm thinking children's aprons, bookcovers, lavender sachets, fabric hearts, needlecases, pencil rolls, embroidered pictures, pincushions...

..anything but tea towels, really.

No comments: