Thursday 16 June 2011

Old Linen and Lavender

More Lavender is coming into full flower....

a real heaven for all the humble bees and humming-bird moths! the lavender 'embraces' a Louis XIV. lime stone finial from the mid-18th century

And I'm playing with ideas how to display some of the linen pieces....

for example...
with an early 19th century French cast iron urn, ca. 1820-30
still in its original condition, it was never over-painted in later times

But - to get the right color of the linen - I need daylight! No flash or artificial light, if possible.
 A suitable 'spot' in soft evening light, not to bright..probably just right.... ...

an old ladder from the 19th century, a bit "krumm und schief" ('lopsided and crooked')
...but I love it!

certainly made by a local artisan or even by the farmer himself

For me it is like a 'sculpture', and... these beautiful old rusted fixings!

 Chanvre - pure hemp, around 1850's

By mixing dye products I tried to get a nice raspberry color
here on the  tart
(this image is from the German magazine Wohnen Traeume 2009)

- different position -

- different light -
- different color -

A lovely piece with charming old patch - here together with an old German grain sack in hemp 

... same kind of old patches and repairs on this  Trousseau-flower-sack, dating 1860

It seems that in those times every woman in the western world made their repairs-stitching the same way...

...and on this one certainly with heart and soul. and tears!

but back to the French 'raspberry'..hemp..
this image shows the color nearly correct....

A genuine old German grain sack from my large collection
(will write a post about these famous German grain sacks - sometime in the future)


old French kitchen linen towels


 Old dried lavender and yarrow in front of an English Mid-Victorian screen, ca. 1840-50


Can't help....
just love old chipped paint... and wood... and hinges... and handles... and......

 French linen-damask napkins and a German mangle cloth
 Set of napkins around 1900
 mangle cloth 1910-20

Another German grain sack and mangle cloth with blue stripes


 Linen sheet with center seam, dyed in a nice faded blue

I was aiming for an authentic old-looking 18th century blue...

perfect as a table cloth either inside - or out-door

Now - how to display?

Here with two 19th century Italian storage jars

from my jar-collection

 with yellow ones - also 19th century Italian storage jars...or? many ideas...

....while pottering round... ..

...Oskar appeared.... usual...

 .... "Hm - all nicely set-up for me, for my 'wash' and cat-nap!"....

His Highness is just mad about old farmers linen! Like me....!


Still changing, playing with shapes and colors ..

and in the end - just simple! Which I like most...
here with a pillow made from a 19th century German grain sack in hemp, using the inside

or with a "little horse"
from a vintage German grain sack

Normally I only look for pieces up to the 1920's, latest! But I liked the design of this horse with the blue stripe

Two pieces of the dyed linen in blue:
 on top Chanvre hemp, the other one in pure linen,
this image shows clearly the different weave and texture

again: different light - different color
-actually I love this kind of light sea-color! Have to experiment with dyes to get it.....-


pure hemp - linen-hemp-mix - pure linen
different weave - different texture
French, from mid- to late 19th century,
all dyed by myself during the last few weeks , trying all kind of different color tones and nuances

It's interesting - genuine and good pieces go with everything


Old Linen - Hemp - German Grain Sacks - and Lavender....

Pillow - made of 19th century German hemp grain sack, using the inner side

Original and genuine Germain grain sacks with blue stripes, have a herring bone weave at the outside.
For upholstery and pillows I use mainly the inside,
 I prefer the plain coarse weave and the softer color of the blue.


And last but not least...
A "little" monogram:

French Drap - over sheet - in fil de lin (fine linen) from the 19th century
with hand stitched center seam and hem.
The hand embroidered monogram is later and dates from the first half of 20th century,
and, because of the design it could be even embroidered in the 1950's.
 Dyeing this linen, I tried to get a natural tone of beige, it turned out in a rather pleasing kind of sand color.
Monogram size: 10,5" high by 9,5" wide

these images are showing the size and proportion of the monogram
which is actually not all that "little"!

(sorry, but I haven't got the time to iron the linens again for the 'photo-session')


I hope that you all enjoy this 'little tour' of  Old Linen and Lavender

A bientôt


  1. wonderful pictures. i love the old monograms! and your chair! <3 wonderful!

  2. Hi Karin!
    Such great quality pictures!!!! I didn't have to enlarge a thing!!!!!! Your linens are beautiful.....And the way you arranged the images...... Very pretty as always.... Maryanne xo

  3. hi Karin I love both of them so it was heavenly I miss seeing filds of it in england thanx fay xx

  4. Such gorgeous linens and lavender. I love the blue colors.

  5. Framboise et lavender - a strong union!

    Liebe Karin,
    ein LL Post (linen and lavender) vom Feinsten!

  6. Your lavender is breathtaking and these pictures are magazine worthy~! The linens and way you display is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

  7. OK- I'll take one of everything!

    Karin- Save these photos because they are going into your upcoming book! Seriously. We NEED this book. You have such incredible backgrounds right at home that are awe-inspiring. Now go find a publisher!

  8. Hi Karin~ I am so loving everything in your post...even Oskar! Your vintage linens, pots, and the gorgeous lavender are all wonderful. Things I would love to have (and Oskar too!). :)

  9. Karin, we adore your linen. The picture of the linen on the antique ladder to beautiful. So many beautiful vignettes and images. Hope you have a great weekend!
    XO Angela and Renee

  10. Karin!
    I'm speechless....I wanted to reach in to each photo and touch everything!!! You know me...I love the hand-sewn patches....absolutely beautiful and wonderful post!


  11. Oh Karin that last image is fabulous! And your raspberry colored linen, stunning! Like you I love anything old and with lots of patina like your ladder. This was a lot of fun to read and see, love your pillows, let me know if you want a job!

    Hugs Debra,

  12. Your styling and eye for colour is incredible and I completely agree with Ann that these images are book-worthy. What a success your dyeing has been! I thought I loved your range of greys/blues/neutrals best, but when I saw that stunning raspberry pink I was speechless. Thank you for posting these glimpses of your collection.

  13. Dear Karin, love these beautiful photographs. Wish I could grow such fat lavender stalks in my so jealous.

  14. Hello, lovie...these incredible photographs make me feel the fibre of the cloth and smell the lavender as if I were there. Love it. And so love your deft styling.

  15. Oh Karin, your photos are magnificent! The lavender and linens and hemps are glorious. Each photo is stunning! I am especially in love with the raspberry,lavender and sea blue colors...absolutely stunning.
    I am driving up to the lavender fields later this week and your post has inspired me with all kinds of wonderful ideas. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful styling and beautiful post. Magnificent!

  16. Hello Karin,

    These pics are stunning! I love your collection of jar and i smele for the pics of the tart.


  17. Hi Karin thanx for your visit just finished ! could jut eat your raspberry tate mmm with a cup of green tea in your garden mmmmm love fay xx

  18. Such beautiful linens and lavender....xv

  19. My mother once had to do a patch as an assignment in a sewing exam at school, just like the ones on your linens. She thought she would be clever, sew the patch on first and then make the hole so it would be neater...not sure how...but she did this and then cut a hole in the patch instead of the main fabric. It was one of my favourite stories as a child!