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My passion for lavender scented linen sheets - my hobby

Rating: 6 votes, 4.33 average.
by , 01-24-2009 at 10:50 AM (123273 Views)
This entry to to try to connect with the possible three other people on the planet who also adore linen sheets.

I have a passion for anything linen. I love fine textiles and linen clothing.

I love linen sheets, made from flax. Modern people confuse the use of the word "linen" for any bed sheet, which bugs me. Flax Linen, before the 1800's cotton revolution, used to be the fabric of choice. It was ungodly expensive and still is, but one thing to remember is that linen sheets last 4 times longer than cotton, as long as you take good care of them. I do not believe the common myth that they last lifetimes, or would be heirlooms, unless they were saved and used for "best".

I keep a linen press, with well mended and tended linen. At the moment I own 6 top flat sheets, 6 bottom flat sheets, three oversized heavy flannel cotton blankets and 12 pillowcases. My linen press is an armoire. I keep my incense stash in there to smell nice. I mark my linen with my name and the year purchased on the bottom hem with laundry ink. I follow old fashioned Godeys and Beeton's linen press advice. Every August I carefully examine each piece, mend, darn, patch, turn, and sew the sheets. Really ragged sheets get made into garb or pillowcases.

I have a weird bed. It is the queen sized Ethan Allen pencil post bed in maple with a carter canopy handnetted "double diamond" canopy on top. I have two featherbeds. One has to pole vault to get into this very high bed. It takes european superking sized flat sheets on the bottom to fit over the featherbeds. A regular sized king sheet is on the top for proper drape. I spray my bed with a mister filled with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil.

Real linen sheets are carefully washed on the hand wash setting on the machine and laid on the grass to dry. They dry really fast. I don't bother to iron. On a rainy day, I hang them to dry over the shower curtain rod.

Linen sheets are not soft and people who buy them always say "I thought they were supposed to be soft...whine!". Real linen sheets are crunchy and rough, really. I have a ten year old sheet that is just getting soft now.

Another thing I hear is from people who were disappointed with the lifetime of their expensive sheets, having destroyed them prematurely by putting bleach on them or putting them in the dryer.

I try not to buy anything hemstitched or embroidered. To quote Miss Manners "Hemstitching rips like perforated toilet paper." I buy sewn hems or "double row cord".

I have had very bad luck with buying old sheets on ebay. Either the person can't measure and the sheet is much too small for my bed, or it disintegrates in the wash.

Now why all the mending and sewing? Linen sheets are an investment. A good quality king sized flat sheet can run from 200 to 500 dollars each. They used to be used as currency, dowry or trousseau, brought by a bride into her marriage. A household would buy one linen sheet per year, with the oldest or most ragged recycled into other linen articles, such as crib sheets, tablecloths, rags, or pillowcases. The linen wasn't wasted. You don't see this kind of husbandry with cotton articles.

Here is my review of the linen sheets on the market today.

Garnet Hill - cheap garbage cheesecloth, will not buy again.

Williams Sonoma - cheap garbage cheescloth, will not buy again.

ebay's italiantique. Very nice, thick and durable. I have two sheets from this lady. she sends sheeting and you have to sew your own, like in the old days.

LinenLine - very nice. My first sheet from them was sent all the way from Belgrade. I ordered a european superking 125 x 125. I received a fabulous handkerchief weight sheet sewn with seams pieced together. It fits my bed perfectly. High quality linen that has held up well. My second purchase from them, I think they got confused and sent me a medium weight US california king. It has a nice hand and fits as a top sheet. I kept it but it was not what I ordered. On the down side: They would not respond to my emails for a request for the true european sizes. Hey LinenLine guys- I would be willing to pay for the postage from Belgrade. Americans want the european sizes. So for LinenLine: Your customer service sucks. Your product is excellent.

Cuddledown Italian linen sheets - the king flat sheet 120x106 fits my bed well. The linen is sturdy, well woven, and heavy [edited to add: medium weight]. It doesn't have that linen "sheen" that some people look for. I like the monograms available. Two thumbs up for Cuddledown plain sewn italian linen. Its my review in the customer review section about having lost the half the sheets in the divorce.

Now the 1st prize goes to Thomas Ferguson's Irish Linen. These things could withstand an atomic blast. Uber thick, industrial strength. Super rough and crunchy at first, like sleeping on sandpaper. ("i paid 1000 dollars for THIS?"...)
They are so thick, so heavy and so tightly woven, you actually have to break these sheets in, like a new pair of shoes. (I suppose i could iron them but i don't). hang in there. superb. They are made to order so you will speak to Nigel about your order. It's nice to know that the person I am speaking to actually has a hand in the making of the product. At 800 -1000 bucks a pair for the european superking, you will take good care of them. I have had a few pairs over the years, but the pair I received September/October 2008 had a better hand than in years past. I noticed that this particular pair had a label that said "superior". edited to add: comparing the fergusons to the others is like comparing a rolls royce to a toyota corolla. the ferguson's stands alone at the top.

next year when i can afford it i will try the new ferguson's "premier" line. pricey.

Well, hope my passion didn't bore you to tears.

june 3, 2009 edited to add: i discovered a new source for lovely sheets. i wanted to add my review of my latest acquisition from Ebay. Rave reviews of ebay's jumperjilly who sells for russia house collection. I just received my king flat russian sheet -nice hand, nice weight, nice sheen, well constructed, floppy, wobbly, gorgeous european superking size. holy cow! cuddledown has some competition!

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Updated 07-01-2009 at 11:10 AM by ladykemma2



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  1. ladykemma2's Avatar
    this blog has 52452 Views! wow!
  2. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have started using my ferguson irish linen satin stripe tablecloth (bespoke 108 square) as a coverlet. i know the linen gods would gasp in horror, but the weight is nice. much more heavy than a sheet. looks terrific.

    i painted my bedroom navy blue and the contrast of the double damask white tablecloth on the enormous, weird bed looks striking. ethan allen meets colonial williamsburg meets pottery barn meets eldred wheeler meets thomas ferguson
    Updated 05-16-2014 at 06:32 PM by ladykemma2
  3. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i found a secondhand sferra Italian linen sheet on ebay. when it arrived, it didn't look old to me. (edit: didn't look washed, ever. still had the sizing in it?)

    very fine weave, smooth as glass. I've never seen a linen sheet as smooth and finely woven as this. very impressive - i can see why they are so expensive.

    my preference is for stout, heavy, thick, like the Ferguson or the orkney linen, but if you like high thread count cotton sheets, this would be the texture for you. i would not buy another, but it's just a matter of taste.

    edited: once washed in hot water, they had a texture of plain thin cotton sheets. yawn.

    marked may 2014 on the bottom hem
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 04:34 PM by ladykemma2
  4. ladykemma2's Avatar
    spent a day off from work --- relaxing, inspecting, mending, patching, turning the sheets.

    patched holey area on a 2004 ferguson sheet, turned the frayed edge on the top.

    made a new "summer cover" for myself with some unused, ocher colored, heavy, coarse, slubby, upholstery linen i had stored away in a box since 2001. 120x120.

    i marked it may 2014 "mohammed from hatfield UK" linen, bought the linen from an SCAer at battle abbey reenactment hastings 2001
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 04:31 PM by ladykemma2
  5. ladykemma2's Avatar
    here is my review of the optic white king size jumperjilly may 2014. Linen Sheet King Flat in Optic White 116 x 118" Russia House Collection | eBay

    hmmm. it's very different from the ones i bought many years ago. those were floppy, wobbly, very smooth, finer threads, very impressive linen. no slubs. texture like italian linen from cuddledown.

    today's sheet has chunky threads, slubby, heavy, dense. looks like a hand- loomed item. looks like those french dowry sheets that we drool over on ebay. looks like the "orkney linen" on rough linen's website.

    i like it because i like heavy dense linen. yes, i would buy another. very pleased.

    i marked it on the bottom hem "jumperjilly may 2014" with laundry/sharpie marker.

    that's my review.

    i wish i had a camera to post what i am talking about. will post once slept on.
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 04:13 PM by ladykemma2
  6. ladykemma2's Avatar
    made the bed with the jumperjilly 2014 on the bottom, the sferra 2014 on the top, and the "summer cover in quotes" 2014 as a blanket. slept in it.

    the jumperjilly was stout and rough, just like new Thomas Fergusons. totally expected.

    the sferra was a bore.

    the ocher colored "summer cover in quotes" looked nice against the pottery barn / sherwin williams navy blue paint. not hot at all. very comfortable.
    Updated 05-31-2014 at 10:07 AM by ladykemma2
  7. ladykemma2's Avatar
    my top three picks

    jumperjilly | eBay

    Thomas Fergusons Irish Linen: Finest Linen, Plain, Natural, Table, Bed Linen, Glass Cloths, Tea Towels, Tablecloths & Napkins

    and, although i have never bought from this lady, i would choose her product next. she makes a 127x127 sheet that would fit my weird bed (she "gets" it) and I drool over the Orkney linen. Rough Linen™ real, natural linen, the way it used to be
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 03:59 PM by ladykemma2
  8. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i made some shams today out of a bucilla linen (new, unused but from the 60s) tablecloth bought "fer cheap" on eBay. 5 bucks - i made 2 new 26x26 square shams.

    wash 'em a few times. the blue embroidery stamp washes right out. like this Bucilla Table Cloth Pure Linen | eBay

    could get two housewife pillowcases out of this Beautiful Vintage White Floral Damask Irish Linen Tablecloth 54x66 | eBay

    could get 2 oxford pillowcases out of this 66x68 Vintage Antique White on White Irish Linen Damask Tablecloth | eBay

    could use these as coverlets irish linen tablecloth 120 | eBay
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 04:46 PM by ladykemma2
  9. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i no longer buy cuddledown because they don't fit my bed. still good sheets though.

    and they don't have red monograms anymore. lost my bidness.
    Updated 05-25-2014 at 04:36 PM by ladykemma2
  10. ladykemma2's Avatar
    picked up a pair of natural euro linen shams 26x26 ralph lauren at TK Maxx today. in the washer now on "hot".
  11. ladykemma2's Avatar
    woo whoo look at what Rough Linen is doing now. the lady who "gets it".

    the oversized that she makes will fit my weird bed. Rough Linen™ sheets

    jumper jilly, Ferguson and now rough linen make sheets that will fit my bed. yay!
  12. ladykemma2's Avatar
    https://ladykemmanewlinenblog.wordpr...anewlinenblog/ find me here, as well.

    107519 views. wow. may 2017 this blog is dated. i will update... coming soon!

    you know, i get quoted a lot on the internet now, so i better get to steppin'.
    Updated 05-28-2017 at 02:21 PM by ladykemma2 (added thoughts.)
  13. ladykemma2's Avatar
    why is it every May I go nuts with linen stuff?

    i re-dyed sweat and drool stained pillowcases and pit stained linen blouses. . they were saved from the trashcan. https://ladykemmanewlinenblog.wordpr...d-pillowcases/
    Updated 05-28-2017 at 02:31 PM by ladykemma2 (wrong link)
  14. ladykemma2's Avatar
    update: jumper jilly seems to be out of business??? jumperjilly on eBay tell us it ain't so......

    update: bought a bolt of linen with a coupon at joanne to make a new 140x108 flat sheet. it is my memorial day project. i stuck my foot through the custom 140x120 from Ferguson. i used the heck out of it and wore it out. (this is what happens when you are so busy at work for three years straight that wash and put back the same sheet on the bed over and over again). so i "turned sides to middle" and cut out the bad parts- a good three feet or so. it's too small to be a bottom sheet anymore, so it is now a top sheet. do you know how to turn sheets sides to middle? here is a video by karinza t wall.

    i will be selling some unused sheets soon. the ones from the previous bed don't fit my current bed. for all my good intentions, i never do get around to refurbishing the old into new. i have a pretty free calendar for june, though. the cuddledowns, the len-ok from russia, the ones from minsk, sferra, williams sonoma, they will be sold over the summer. time to let someone else enjoy them.
    Updated 05-28-2017 at 03:02 PM by ladykemma2 (added more)
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