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ladykemma2

My passion for lavender scented linen sheets - my hobby

Rating: 6 votes, 4.33 average.
by , 01-24-2009 at 10:50 AM (122205 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. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    Very interesting. I didn't know that much info about linen and it sounds like you have really done your homework in taking care of them. I do have one linen piece from my grandmother. It is a very, heavy tablecloth in a cream color. I have only used it once and I have it stored away for safe-keeping. I will have to dig it out and look over it more since you posted some interesting facts. I have always loved the piece because of it's weight and how it drapes so lovely.
  2. ladykemma2's Avatar
    thanks, I have had a 20 year learning curve and have it down to a science now.
    I have destroyed many a linen article before i knew any better.
  3. nuisance26's Avatar
    Wow! And I though I was being luxurious buying 500 thread count cotton sheets at $50 a set, lol!
  4. frugal-fannie's Avatar
    Thanks, I am with Debbie, I have to run and check my linen closet in case I have a treasure in there. I can barely bring myself to pay over 35$ for a flannel sheet set. I still remember the $8 full sheet.I wish I bought more.
  5. mzpepper's Avatar
    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”
    -- William Morris

    I think that you have this covered on both counts. Enjoy your linens!
  6. sloopy's Avatar
    LadyKemma, I was just planning to purchase a linen flat sheet from Cuddledown, so I was very pleased to find your info which was very helpful.

    Do you recommend buying a fitted sheet, or using a flat sheet for both top and bottom?

    Also, I have a queen size bed, but normally purchase king size coverlets, blankets, quilts, etc. due to shrinkage. Do you recommend buying a queen or king size flat sheet for a queen bed?

    Thanks so much.
  7. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have the king size flat on the queen size bed, BUT BUT BUT i have the fergusons 120x125 on the bottom (on top of the mattress and the featherbeds) and the 106x120 cuddledown on the top.

    the cuddledown flat sheet will fit on the bottom nicely, if you go sideways instead of up and down.

    edited to add: i always buy flat sheets so i can "turn" them or make them into something else when they get thin.
    Updated 06-07-2009 at 09:22 AM by ladykemma2
  8. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i wanted to add my review of my latest acquisition from Ebay. Rave review of ebay's "jumperjilly" who sells for "russia house collection". I just received my king flat sheet -nice hand, nice weight, nice sheen, well constructed, gorgeous european superking size. holy cow!
    Updated 06-07-2009 at 09:23 AM by ladykemma2 (clarity)
  9. crazylash's Avatar
    Ladykemma2, have you ever tried the linen sheets from Belgian Huis? I have been saving my nickels to buy my first set of linen sheets and have been torn between the cuddledown and Belgian Huis (Libeco brand) sheets. Would love to know if you have any experience with them.
  10. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i have not tried the belgian house. would you like to add your review?
  11. ladykemma2's Avatar
    the cuddledown are on sale right now. you can try a starter pair for 150 bucks each, plus the pillowcases.
  12. sloopy's Avatar
    Thanks for the info, Lady !
  13. carol99's Avatar
    Thank you for this wonderful piece.
    I was upset because an EBay vintage sheet seller became very enraged when I asked questions his conflicting prices.
    He became enraged and ended the sale.
    I went looking for people like myself who love linen sheets.
    Is the Cuddledown July sale worth waiting for?
    I have purchased from Rawganique.. thin. bottom sheet is worn. Libeco seems like cheese cloth, too.
  14. creads's Avatar
    Omigosh! I have been searching everywhere for user reviews detailing linen sheets that weren't trying to sell them. Please excuse the questions of a complete novice. I've only felt linen shirts and napkins and such - cheap stuff too, I'm sure.

    I've heard that as sheets, linen is better at regulating temperature than cotton and is more durable.
    Is that the only thing really to recommend them?

    If they aren't soft to the touch - are they uncomfortable as bed linen - at least at first?

    Seriously - I'm a comfort junkie - memory foam and down/ silk comforters.
    Should I invest in linen sheets as a lover of such things?

    I adore lavender: I love that you use it! I often sprinkle it on the mattress pad before making the bed and sprinkle it on blankets and sheets getting put away for the season. Your use of lavender is one of the things that added interest and - for me - validity to this post (I only registered so that I could ask you these questions).

    Finally, have you ever bought from linto.com? Ever hear anything about them? They seem to be the best balance of price and quality. What do you think?

    Thanks for your help!
    - Clarissa
  15. ladykemma2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by carol99
    Thank you for this wonderful piece.
    I was upset because an EBay vintage sheet seller became very enraged when I asked questions his conflicting prices.wow, not surprised.
    He became enraged and ended the sale.
    I went looking for people like myself who love linen sheets.
    Is the Cuddledown July sale worth waiting for?they are on sale now.
    I have purchased from Rawganique.. thin. bottom sheet is worn. Libeco seems like cheese cloth, too.
    take the thin bottom sheet and make pillowcases. then order a new sheet for the bottom. may i recommend Jumperjilly on ebay? cuddledown as my second choice.
    Updated 07-01-2009 at 11:30 AM by ladykemma2 (clarity)
  16. ladykemma2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by creads
    Omigosh! I have been searching everywhere for user reviews detailing linen sheets that weren't trying to sell them. Please excuse the questions of a complete novice. I've only felt linen shirts and napkins and such - cheap stuff too, I'm sure.

    I've heard that as sheets, linen is better at regulating temperature than cotton and is more durable. yes, as a woman with hot flashes, definitely cooler than anything else.
    Is that the only thing really to recommend them? i'm a textile junkie so my opinion might be different from yours

    If they aren't soft to the touch - are they uncomfortable as bed linen - at least at first?they take getting used to.its more of a crunchy sensation. they drape differently too. the fergesons sheets frankly hurt until they soften up.

    Seriously - I'm a comfort junkie - memory foam and down/ silk comforters.
    Should I invest in linen sheets as a lover of such things? if you are a bedding afficionado, i would at least try them.i would try a pair from jumperjilly on ebay or cuddledown as your first pair. affordable, sort of.

    I adore lavender: I love that you use it! I often sprinkle it on the mattress pad before making the bed and sprinkle it on blankets and sheets getting put away for the season. Your use of lavender is one of the things that added interest and - for me - validity to this post (I only registered so that I could ask you these questions). a kindred soul. i put the lavender essential oil very diluted with water, shake, and spray the whole bed. yum.

    Finally, have you ever bought from linto.com? Ever hear anything about them? They seem to be the best balance of price and quality. What do you think?

    Thanks for your help!
    - Clarissa
    i have not bought from linoto, although i thought their prices were rather high. i also don't buy "sets" i buy flat sheets. would you like to add your review?
    Updated 07-01-2009 at 10:59 AM by ladykemma2 (added a thought)
  17. ladykemma2's Avatar
    there is a fellow on ebay selling overstock linen line products. might be worth a look.

    do a search on linen line
  18. ladykemma2's Avatar
    i was updating my homeowners insurance and i thought it amusing that i probably should insure my sheets.

    i didn't though.
  19. ladykemma2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by carol99
    Thank you for this wonderful piece.
    I was upset because an EBay vintage sheet seller became very enraged when I asked questions his conflicting prices.
    He became enraged and ended the sale.
    I went looking for people like myself who love linen sheets.
    Is the Cuddledown July sale worth waiting for?
    I have purchased from Rawganique.. thin. bottom sheet is worn. Libeco seems like cheese cloth, too.
    curious. carol have you considered bumping to the ferguson's? put the industrial strength sheet on the bottom. use the old flat sheet for the top. you have made new pillowcases from the ragged sheet. voila.

    buy way oversized flat sheet so it doesn't come untucked.

    if you call on the phone you can buy a single sheet, instead of a pair. there will be about a 50 dollar duty/custom tax as well.
    Updated 07-01-2009 at 10:35 AM by ladykemma2
  20. ladykemma2's Avatar
    it occurs to me that i am dominating the conversation --all are welcome to answer the questions and give thoughts.
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