Apr 26, 2011

Displaying Your Vintage Textiles

By Susan (tparty)

Do you collect vintage linens? I do. I'm partial to tablecloths with colorful fruit and flower designs. At every opportunity, I'll spread one out on my kitchen table, in the dining room, on a side table, or I'll tote one along on a picnic. And I'm always looking for ways to store my collection and display it at the same time. 

The vintage ladder, above, sits in a corner of my studio. It's covered in chippy blue paint. I love how it is wider at the bottom and narrows toward the top. Four of my favorite tablecloths hang neatly from it simply because they are so pretty to look at.

Most of my tablecloth collection resides on the bottom two shelves of my kitchen's pie safe. This keeps them within easy reach. Plus, they are always on display through the cabinet's glass doors and side panels. When these linens are neatly folded and stacked, the little pattern bits that are visible provide an enticing hint of their pretty designs.

Yo Yo Quilt in Soft Pastel Colors by leasatticspace
So why not display rather than tuck away your collection? Showcasing favorite textiles allows you to enjoy them daily.

Vintage Folding Coat/Hat Rack by nickhaus

Here are some display ideas:
  • Stack colorful cotton tablecloths on a kitchen counter
  • Hang a collection of aprons from a folding hat rack
  • Drape quilts over a sofa, railing, chair or ottoman
  • Use a vintage towel rack to showcase a collection of tea towels
  • Transform a chenille bedspread into a shower curtain 
  • String a clothesline on a wall and hang smaller linens from clothes pins
  • Frame lace items or hankies in a shadowbox
Very Vintage Donald Duck Chenille Bedspread by hautecountryvintage
Things to remember:

Only display sturdier pieces; if they collect dust, they are better able to withstand frequent laundering. Rotate linens periodically so the same pieces aren't always on display. If the textile is resting on a wooden shelf or towel bar, place acid free tissue paper as a barrier between the wood and the item. Avoid wear at the creases by refolding linens frequently. Lastly, keep your display out of direct sunlight.

What are your favorite ways to display vintage textiles? 


black eyed susans kitchen said...

Wonderful post Susan. I especially like the tablecloths displayed on the ladder...very artistic!

leah @ plainview - moxiethrift on etsy said...

Wonderful bit on display! I'm not afraid to admit that I can pull the coolest thing out of the thrift store, but to get it to look pretty in my home is a whole nutha game that i'm not good at.

Vintage Linens said...

Thank you Susan. These are all wonderful ideas for display. I like to roll up a bunch of tea towels and place them in a basket on the kitchen counter.

FairyFiligree said...

Great post - lots of ideas there. This is my first time to this blog & I really like it. Would love to start following. but can't find the follow me tab......

Lea's Attic said...

Wonderful ideas and I love your tablecloth collection! I wash all my vintage textiles in Orvus Paste.

ImSoVintage said...

love the tablecloths. beautiful

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Thanks for the kind words! I've never heard of Orvus Paste. I'll have to check it out.