I am obsessed with vintage tablecloths. Yep, I admit it. I dream
about tablecloths! I have openly admitted that I would marry a vintage
tablecloth if I weren't already married and the right tablecloth
How did this all start? Well, I've always been a textile fanatic.
One of those crazy ladies who go to fabric stores just to touch
things. The ones who buy more quilting fabric than they can ever
possibly use! Well, I grew up in an English household. We didn't
have printed tablecloths. We had damask and boring embroidered tablecloths.
One day I went to the Brimfield Antiques Sale and walked into Dusty's
Vintage Linens. I had an epiphany! Never had I seen so many beautiful
textiles in one place! I even dragged my family out later the same
week to show them the wonderful "new" thing I'd found.
I struck up a friendship with Michele and Lori of Dusty's and they
helped me get started in this business. We discussed the Karma of
tablecloths. It seems that things often happen serendipitously.
Somebody needs something and all of a sudden, that very thing is
offered. You can go years without seeing a particular cloth and
whammo, it appears on Ebay twice within hours. Too close together
to be anything but chance. My friend Carol and I call this "the
Twin Theory". It happens too often to be coincidence and I think
has a lot to do with the mysterious feminine nature of the textile
Another thing Michele and I talked about was "paying it forward".
That this obsession is guided along by developing knowledgeable
buyers and sellers. People who understand the value of these documents
of "herstory". It's really sad to me to see how these cloths have
been mistreated in the past. People cutting up or using pristine
cloths as dropcloths! ACK!
What are the most important things I've learned about tablecloths?
Well, number one is that defects magically appear when a tablecloth
is held to the light of a window. It is really important to know
where your problem areas are because even a tiny hole can become
a quarter sized hole in one wash. I know, I've done it! The second
most important thing is the care. Never put vintage tablecloths
in the dryer! Especially rayon cloths! Avoid the use of Oxy products
on tablecloths with gold thread or paint or if the tablecloth has
a high rayon component. Oxy can eat giant holes in these tablecloths!
I'm a founding member of the Vintage Tablecloth Lovers Club, a great
group with a commitment to excellence. The link can be found further
down the page. We're always looking for fun new members. We love
to see your collections! If you ever have any questions about my
tablecloths, or vintage printed linens in general, please click
on my email link on the home page. I love to talk tablecloths!