A Love of Textiles

The love of textiles has lead me to studying and collecting textiles and vintage garments. I have always been intrigued with itinerate weavers of the 19th century, lace makers, textile mills and quilting bees. Growing up I loved seeing my mother's, grandmother's and aunt’s needlework. Since childhood I have dabbled in - embroidery, cross-stitch, needlepoint and quilt making.

I studied studio art and art history at Louisiana State University. I have taken numerous art and design classes at other institutions. I have attended many workshops and lectures and visited many exhibits dealing with textiles. Through the 1970's and into the 1980's I worked as a textile designer in New York and London. I designed textile pattens for                  ladies’ and men's wear, domestic lin
ens, upholstery and accessories. These designs were used by companies such as Villager, Crazy Horse, Arrow Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Furstenburg, Sear's, Penney's Fruit of the Loom, Liberty of London  and Totes among others.

I began collecting textiles at an early age.  I prefer late 19th and very early 20th century American and European textiles. The "Arts and Crafts" movement in my favorite. Linen is my favorite fabric. Embroidery is my favorite needlework.  In the mid 1980's I lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. My husband at that time was in product development with Proctor & Gamble. Through him I began to learn methods for cleaning textiles. Later, in Baton Rouge, I became acquainted with Evva Z. Wilson PhD., apparel and textiles specialist at the LSU Agricultural Center.  Dr. Wilson became a mentor. With her guidance I learned the best and safest methods to clean, restore, protect and store textiles. A large part of Vintage Linens Etc. is sharing this information.

After years my collection grew to the point that I had far more than I could use or store. In 1999 I started my company Vintage Linens Etc. selling restored antique linens at antique and craft markets and in select shops. I held shows at my home. I buy for a number of private customers. I now go to New York City once or twice a year and Europe, usually England once a year to buy at antique markets. There I have made contacts with dealers who I order from or who contact me when they think they have an item(s) that might interest me. Once I have the linens they are cleaned and restored if necessary. Damaged beyond repair a quality piece of fabric or skilled needlework is never destroyed. It has history and artistry. I redesign it into a pillow, sachets, table runner, hand bags or Christmas stockings. I restore a limited number of textiles for clients.

I love living with old linens and lace. I have boxes labeled "to be cleaned" and "to be pressed" and "to be framed" or "to be crafted". In the ice chests on my patio or in my two washing machines textiles will be soaking and then there is the 5' X 8' closet, shelves, cabinets and baskets full of clean, scented and pressed textiles. This is a business of beauty and history and preservation. I live happily surrounded by it.


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