One of the items that’s frequently on sale at the aforementioned vide-greniers is antique linen. As the value of this is well known, and the lighter weights are difficult to find, the prices may be higher than the rest of the must-go-now fare. But it’s well worth it. Not only can it be re-fashioned into clothes, pillow covers, curtains or whatever else it inspires, but it can also, most importantly, simply be appreciated for the stuff that it is. Nothing—nothing—is quite like it.
Six years ago, I made curtains for the kitchen windows and to cover the kitchen appliances out of an old table-cloth I’d found at Arcy-sur-Cure. The open-work border is beautiful, and I was able to maintain it in the new pieces. I am honored to have the handiwork of a countrywoman whose story I will never know hanging there for me to see, a daily testament to the desire to bring simple beauty into the functionality of the everyday.
The texture of the cloth is poetic and honest. Unbleached, flawed. Its weave evident and uneven. It speaks of years and years past, and yet it endures with an Olympian freshness and sturdiness uncommon to other fabrics. And then there is the weight of it: real heft. Nothing to be ignored or over-looked. It calls no particular attention to itself, and yet it asserts its beautiful right to exist.