I have a project in progress..............but progress take awhile when it comes to hand embroidery.
Which makes me appreciate vintage linens, elaborately embroidered with so much intricate design and stitching.
I came upon a wonderful collections of linens in an antique shop the other day...........yet the prices on the linens were not rated as antiques..........they were priced just right for me to take home.
As I was looking through the pile, I became engaged in conversation with a woman, who, although recognized and stated that vintage linens are becoming harder to find, did not see much value in them. She was more than glad for me to clear them from her shelves.
I only know just a bit of information on these wonderful linens. With more research, it is astounding at the rich history these linens hold. Some linens are from France, some from Italy, and most of my collection is from Madeira, an island off of the coast of Africa, a region of Portugal.
The designs are from the inspiration of Madeira designers, past and present,
Needlecraft was a skill passed from generation to generation on Madeira.
Elizabeth Phelps, the daughter of a wealthy wine shipper, was the driving force behind Madeira embroidery's transformation from a hobby to an industry. In the late 19th century, with concerns over vine diseases affecting the wine production and workers' wages, she turned a local pastime of embroidery into a source of income for the island. By introducing the handmade embroidery from Madeira to Britain, she started demand for the embroidery.
In the following years, the demand for Madeira embroidery rose and the local embroiderers of were busy creating hand-embroidered products for the market. Local businessmen began traveling abroad, selling Madeira embroidery. The hand embroidery was thriving and demand rose in countries including Germany, the United States and Syria.
The 20th century brought challenges for the Madeira embroidery trade with World Wars and a declining economy. The market was taken over by Syrian and Lebanese interests, which mass produced embroidery of lesser quality for American sales When demand for quality Madeira embroidery began to appear again during the post-war period, new companies in Madeira opened, determined to return to hand-crafted Madeira embroidery. These companies include Patricio & Gouveia, Imperial de Bordados, and J.A. Teixeira.
There is so much more to learn about these wonderful textiles with a little time and research.
The reason I collect them, boils down to one simple thing.
I love them!
To know that someone stitched for hours to produce something so beautiful with their hands, makes them a treasure to me.
How about you?
What do you love to collect?
Is it a rare thing..............do you find it hard to part with it?..............
no matter how many you have?
I would love to hear!