Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Tea Party and an Antique French Embroidered Handkerchief

First the tea party.

I had the pleasure of being invited to a bridal shower the other day and it happened to be a tea party. A very well done tea party at that. It was everything you expected from a tea party, including darling desserts and fab china!

Trembleuse in Old Country Roses by Royal Albert

Above is a "trembluese" in the "Old Country Roses" pattern by Royal Albert. I was like eeeeeeeee!!! when I saw them. 

You just don't see a trembluese every day.

The trembluese is the precursor to the "party pack" - think the plate that you hang your wine glass off the side of. They originated in the 18th century actually. Trembluese comes form the french for tremble. In early examples, the cup fits into an elevated rim to hold it steady, likely for the elderly. In the 19th century they morphed into what we see here, where the cup is offset on a larger-than-a-saucer plate, which allows the user to hold a cup and plate in one hand, instead of getting bogged down by a cup, saucer and plate. Very handy!

Old Country Roses has been in production since the 1960's. Royal Albert goes back to 1896.

The pastry forks are from two different sets. The set on the right is "Repousse" by Kirk Steiff. Repousse is one of my favorite patterns. It is especially interesting because it has been in production here in America since 1828! That makes it the oldest pattern still in production.

Marina and I taking tea :)
If you want to know some interesting history bits,
visit her blog, the Enlightened Age.

So this brings me to the antique handkerchief.

While at the party, the bride was given an antique hankie to carry at her wedding. It reminded me that I never did put my hankie from my wedding in acid free paper. Trip to the wedding box! I ended up wrapping everything I could find in my tissue paper: hankie, veil, candles, flowers... Why risk it?

But before I wrapped up the handkerchief, I took some pictures to share.

The hankie was given to me by my grandmother and I carried it in my purse for my wedding. It was given to her by a friend at the time of her wedding. It is French and probably early 20th, late 19th century. The embroidery looks to be machine done, as it is very uniform, but I am not 100% positive. Either way, it's gorgeous! So elaborate!

Important!!! PS...

Acid free paper is a must! I really must stress how important it is to store your worthy fabric pieces in an acid free environment. As a costumer and collector of antique/vintage textiles, I have learned that proper storage is imperative. 

Heirloom Sewing for Children has great acid free paper in big sheets (30x40''). Click here to be redirected.

Get some acid-free, archival quality paper and tissue and wrap all your goodies in it, then store them where there is air flow and it is cool and dark and dry. Natural fibers especially need to breath (linen, silk, cotton...). Also, it is unwise to store anything in plastic for long stretches of time. If you live in a humid environment, the fabric can get mildew and sometimes the plastic breaks down and then you have a mess.

This applies to both old fabrics as well as new things you may make as a costumer. It would be so sad to spend hours and hours of hard work stitching or embroidering a piece, only to find it years later with those awful yellow discolorations that are a nightmare to get out. Wrapping in paper also helps with wrinkles, believe it or not.

When wrapping up your things, it helps to arrange the tissue so when you fold, the fabric doesn't touch itself and it is always separated by a layer of tissue.

If you really want to up the anti, wrap seasonal clothes, lengerie, delicate fabrics, etc in acid free paper to store. Some people do this when they pack as well, but I don't have the patience.


  1. I love all the pix of the tea party! So charming. And hey, thanks for the shout out! Much appreciated. And finally, I'm sure you noticed the little oblong part of the Trembluese. For your thumb to hold, I guess?!

  2. It's also very good to store cotton and linen in buffered paper - linen is hardy and will generally be okay no matter what you do to it, but I've seen ~200 year old cotton textiles people swore were white around 2000 turn brown and crispy because they were stored in unbuffered paper.

    1. Yes the paper I shared a link to is also unbuffered. Its so sad to see beautiful things get ruined from poor storage :(

  3. Thank you so much for sharing such nice and informative thought., This is very helpful fer me and others. Keep blogging man!!!!!!!