Dating from the 14th century the towering Armoire of a traditional bridal linens has practically disappeared from modern day life but in the age of 'throw away and buy another' mentality, I am drawn to the beauty of quality linens embroidered with a couple's monogram which i understand is making a comeback.
'White on white' needlework first appeared during the Renaissance and was added to sheer cloth, through which the skin could be glimpsed. This type of work was confided to the agile fingers of women including French Queens such as Catherine de Medici and Margaret of Valois, who were known as magnificent embroiderers. They used techniques such as cut-thread and openwork (known today as cutwork) , then came embroidery on a network of drawn threads (filet lace) and finally lacis embroidery (darning stitches) which adorned household linens such as pillowcases, tablecloths, canopies and valances. In later years embroidery became an activity for all girls which they learn't in school and who spent years making their trousseaus, all by hand, in preparation for their marriage.
The symbol of a traditional trousseau was the monogram of initials that intertwined like the arms of the young couple but when linen first stared to be hoarded it was not originally done for decorative purposes but so they could be identified. Indelible ink was often used on bed sheets and towels. However, throughout the 19th century and right up to the 1950's every item of household linen received this carefully mostly embroidered seal. By the 1920's express raised satin stitch monograms were readily available to sew directly onto sheets and pillowcases.
After spending 5 years in France, I fell in love with abundance of french vintage monogram linens that I compulsively collected and which I still use to this day. As an English woman now living in a hot Mediterranean climate I learn't from the locals that there was only one way to survive the Mediterranean summer nights and that was sleeping on linen bed sheets. It honestly transformed my life. The fabric has a strange way of keeping you warm in winter snd cool in summer. Inspired by my experience, I have created an ever evolving range of pillowcases and bed cushions adorned with personalized machine embroidered monograms which I create using advanced computer software arrange for each customer often influenced by my customer requests.
With wedding season just around the corner, reserve your order for that extra special wedding gift which can't be bought on the high street!