Monday, September 27, 2010

Petit Monogram

We tend to think of monogrammed items as a luxury. Maybe today, but not so in yesteryear. Here is a humble kitchen towel, monogrammed by hand, hemmed by hand. In a series of 6, each perfectly identical. Knock my socks off~
In the 19thC and up to the 1950's, at least in France, embroidery was considered part of the education of a young girl and you learned to do your own embroidery. Some women would embroider for others, for extra money; the aristocratic would do needlework simply as a hobby. A "Sampler" is called an Abecedaire in French; here the girls learn their basics~
In the 19C, daily clothes were worn longer, and if you changed your clothes every 8 days that was considered "frequent." Households had many pieces of laundry because washing was done infrequently, and the "big laundry" was done twice each year. Here is the Lavoir, in Pont a Mousson on the Moselle River in France; it is a small building but a formidable edifice, right at the edge of the river as it should be; sort of a 19C laundromat, without the machines, of course~
Spring was the best time to do the big laundry, as the water was not too cold, there was plenty of sun, and the women were not too busy doing other domestic or agricultural work. Though in many regions of France, you can have a sprit of rain any time, so perhaps they worked fast. Here is a monogram on hemp; old but unused~
Linens were called "marked" (numbered or initialed or both), to be sure to tell your laundry apart and sort it out at home. There is "household" laundry such as sheets and towels, and also "personal" laundry, always monogrammed~
also here, a ladies' night shirt~
and here, sweet with the tie~
Many of the numbered linens come from schools or households with large volumes; to be sure there is even use, perhaps? This is a perfect linen bibbed apron~
here too, numbered and monogrammed and very well-used; indication of a large household or other~
Sometimes the little monos get creative~

the initials can represent various first or last names~
or a single initial for just the bride; the set above came with this set below~
for non-personal linens like this tablecloth, the initials will represent his and her names, indicated by the x in between~
If you are lucky you can find your own monogram (here in linen, a kitchen towel); email us if you are searching for a particular monogram, or consult with Laura to get creative using someone else's!
We will show you some great uses for other people's monograms soon...

3 comments:

fairfieldhousenj.com said...

Regarding the A D (above); Is that available to readers? If so, please email me.

Thank you.
Deborah

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

I always learn something new from you, great post and lovely items.

la Brocanteuse said...

just found your blog, and are enjoying it very much. beautiful images and inspiring informations. I also love French linen and are about to have my first French Brocante with the possibility of selling online after the event.. ...anyway- just wanted to let you know- love your blog! and best of luck Colette ~Afrique du Sud