At Linen and Letters we pay particular attention to bed linen used in the bedroom! We make elegant hemstitched pillow shams, throw pillows and bed runners made from 100% European flax linen all of which can be personalised with a wide selection of monogram fonts to suit every style of bedroom.
As history reads, 'white on white' needlework like we use for our bed linen 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 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 bed linen first started 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.
When taking care of your linen, tumble drying is damaging for all natural fibres, including linen. So, where possible dry on a clothes line with the added bonus of the sun making white linens whiter. In our busy modern lives however, line drying is not always possible and we have to resort to using the dryer, so take precautions by using a low heat or delicate setting. Linen bedding should not be over dried and should be removed from the dryer when still damp if pressing is required.
Linen is a beautiful natural fabric but with natural fibres comes creases. Ironing is recommended when the fabric is still damp. Use a hot iron or "linen" setting when pressing.