Posts Tagged ‘monticello linens’

Linens Seen on a Virginia Trip March 2012

May 26, 2012

On a jaunt through the State of Virginia in March, 2012, I came across many exhibitions that I thought were pertinent to the care, use and history of old textiles.

First stop: Monticello.

Note of interest:

“A wash house (laundry) was vital to a large household. Clothing, as well as bed and table linens had to be washed at least once a week. Physically demanding, laundering involved soaking, soaping, rubbing, washing and boiling the linens,; then draining, rinsing, bluing, re-rinsing, starching, wringing, drying and finally, ironing.”

The Williamsburg Museum (please visit, you will love it)

The sign about whitework

Note of interest: “In an era when laundry was done by hand and textiles had to be ironed without the benefit of electricity, snowy white accessories were signs of gentility and status.” The next photo is of the apron on display. England, c. 1760-1780.

it is embroidered with chain stitches and areas of drawnwork.

The sign about the handkerchief quilt

Mount Vernon Display of a Napkin that belonged to George Washington. The dark areas are holes and wear.

Note the explanation of the embroidered laundry mark which “…allowed Martha Washington to avoid wearing out individual napkins by rotating their use.”