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Table Linens

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  • ladymorwenna
    Greetings all, Lady Lakshmi Amman, coordinator of the massive table linen project for Perigord, has put up a brag page (her words) at
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
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      Greetings all,

      Lady Lakshmi Amman, coordinator of the massive table linen project for
      Perigord, has put up a "brag page" (her words) at
      http://www.pir.net/~beth/Feste/LaFeste.html

      This gives a good idea of the scale of the work.

      Morwenna
    • aheilvei
      ... for ... But there aren t any pictures! *sniff* *sniff* She says there are, but I don t see them...... Despina
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
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        --- In Authentic_SCA@y..., "ladymorwenna" <ladymorwenna@y...> wrote:
        > Greetings all,
        >
        > Lady Lakshmi Amman, coordinator of the massive table linen project
        for
        > Perigord, has put up a "brag page" (her words) at
        > http://www.pir.net/~beth/Feste/LaFeste.html
        >
        > This gives a good idea of the scale of the work.

        But there aren't any pictures! *sniff* *sniff* She says there are,
        but I don't see them......

        Despina
      • ladymorwenna
        ... Oh dear. There really are pictures -- I ve seen them. I wonder what s wrong... Morwenna
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
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          > But there aren't any pictures! *sniff* *sniff* She says there are,
          > but I don't see them......
          >
          > Despina

          Oh dear. There really are pictures -- I've seen them. I wonder what's
          wrong...

          Morwenna
        • kass1013
          ... are, ... Despina, are you using Netscape by any chance? Try Internet Explorer if you can. I think she used a program which is IE compliant but doesn t
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
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            > But there aren't any pictures! *sniff* *sniff* She says there
            are,
            > but I don't see them......

            Despina, are you using Netscape by any chance? Try Internet Explorer
            if you can.

            I think she used a program which is IE compliant but doesn't like
            Netscape for some reason.

            You should SEE the pictures -- Lakshmi in Elizabethan!!! I can't
            believe it!

            Kass
          • aheilvei
            ... Explorer if you can. ... It s working now..... don t know what was wrong. Wow! Smiles, Despina de la open mouth!
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 12, 2002
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              --- In Authentic_SCA@y..., "kass1013" <historian@r...> wrote:
              > > But there aren't any pictures! *sniff* *sniff* She says there
              > are, but I don't see them......
              >
              > Despina, are you using Netscape by any chance? Try Internet
              Explorer if you can.
              >
              > You should SEE the pictures -- Lakshmi in Elizabethan!!! I can't
              > believe it!

              It's working now..... don't know what was wrong.

              Wow!

              Smiles,
              Despina de la open mouth!
            • Kammy Chinnock
              Hello, I have been lurking for a long time, and I have gotten all kinds of great ideas for furniture, painting rugs and making my own pavilion, but I have a
              Message 6 of 13 , Mar 30, 2013
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                Hello,



                I have been lurking for a long time, and I have gotten all kinds of great
                ideas for furniture, painting rugs and making my own pavilion, but I have a
                question about something that I have never seen discussed.



                What about table cloths? Did they use the nice linen that we use now? Did
                they decorate it in anyway? What about napkins? My household is from
                1530's Scotland, Northern Highlands.



                I appreciate any and/or all help in this matter!



                Kammy Chinnock





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Karen_Larsdatter
                ... It s a question of where & when and also economic levels. The general trend seems to be for a clean, well-pressed white linen tablecloth. Even in humbler
                Message 7 of 13 , Apr 1, 2013
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                  Kammy asked:
                  > What about table cloths? Did they use the nice linen that we use now? Did
                  > they decorate it in anyway? What about napkins? My household is from
                  > 1530's Scotland, Northern Highlands.

                  It's a question of where & when and also economic levels.

                  The general trend seems to be for a clean, well-pressed white linen tablecloth. Even in humbler environments in the 16th century, you still see some attempt at a clean, white linen tablecloth on the table, at least on special occasions; http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bruegel/pieter_e/10/ provides one example.

                  There are some lovely tablecloths with brocaded bands along the ends that seem to have been especially popular in the 14th and 15th centuries; see http://www.larsdatter.com/perugia-tablecloths.htm for some examples, or see http://www.larsdatter.com/perugia-towels.htm for examples of towels (which could have also been used as napkins).

                  We do see some damask linen tablecloths in the 16th century as well.
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O315603/table-cloth/
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O315606/table-cloth-unknown/
                  http://www.artvalue.com/auctionresult--16th-century-a-linen-damask-tablecloth-kort-1779315.htm
                  There are a few examples of napkins made in this manner:
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101359/napkin-unknown/
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101364/napkin-unknown/
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101377/napkin-unknown/
                  http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O357677/napkin/

                  The 16th century also brings along the table carpet -- see examples at http://www.larsdatter.com/carpets.htm -- but these seem to be used in non-culinary situations. (It would be much harder to clean a table carpet after a meal as opposed to a white linen tablecloth, really.) ;)

                  I'd also recommend reading http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/babees_rickert.pdf to see some of the etiquette manuals from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance -- there are more references in there to the use of these sorts of table linens.


                  Karen Larsdatter
                  www.larsdatter.com
                • Laurie Clarkston
                  Kammy,   As far as decorating go, the linen tablecloths would have very little in the way of decorated items.  It would be the plates, cups, silverware, and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Apr 1, 2013
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                    Kammy,
                     
                    As far as decorating go, the linen tablecloths would have very little in the way of decorated items.  It would be the plates, cups, silverware, and candlesticks--you will see this in some of the pictures Karen sent you.
                     
                    As far as decorations go:  If the house/castle/manor were having important guests, enough to bring out the bright-white linens, they would also have a sideboard or table displaying all of their silver plate and/or gold plates (platters, plates, bowls, candlesticks, pitchers, etc...) lined up to show off. 
                     
                    A lot of wealth would have been in plates, platters, and other objects and not used other than to display before important guest.  It would be placed out in a noted location (much like putting a collection of family pictures on the fireplace mantle, or on the piano for display--that we do today). 
                     
                    If they fell on harder times, these items would be sold off, or melted down and exchanged for coin or goods, since "banking" was not around then, and having a bag of coins was not always a good thing to keep around, let alone display...grin.  
                     
                    Cairistiona


                    ________________________________
                    From: Karen_Larsdatter <karen_larsdatter@...>
                    To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, April 1, 2013 8:16 AM
                    Subject: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Table Linens

                     
                    Kammy asked:
                    > What about table cloths? Did they use the nice linen that we use now? Did
                    > they decorate it in anyway? What about napkins? My household is from
                    > 1530's Scotland, Northern Highlands.

                    It's a question of where & when and also economic levels.

                    The general trend seems to be for a clean, well-pressed white linen tablecloth. Even in humbler environments in the 16th century, you still see some attempt at a clean, white linen tablecloth on the table, at least on special occasions; http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bruegel/pieter_e/10/ provides one example.

                    There are some lovely tablecloths with brocaded bands along the ends that seem to have been especially popular in the 14th and 15th centuries; see http://www.larsdatter.com/perugia-tablecloths.htm for some examples, or see http://www.larsdatter.com/perugia-towels.htm for examples of towels (which could have also been used as napkins).

                    We do see some damask linen tablecloths in the 16th century as well.
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O315603/table-cloth/
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O315606/table-cloth-unknown/
                    http://www.artvalue.com/auctionresult--16th-century-a-linen-damask-tablecloth-kort-1779315.htm
                    There are a few examples of napkins made in this manner:
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101359/napkin-unknown/
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101364/napkin-unknown/
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O101377/napkin-unknown/
                    http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O357677/napkin/

                    The 16th century also brings along the table carpet -- see examples at http://www.larsdatter.com/carpets.htm -- but these seem to be used in non-culinary situations. (It would be much harder to clean a table carpet after a meal as opposed to a white linen tablecloth, really.) ;)

                    I'd also recommend reading http://www.yorku.ca/inpar/babees_rickert.pdf to see some of the etiquette manuals from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance -- there are more references in there to the use of these sorts of table linens.

                    Karen Larsdatter
                    http://www.larsdatter.com/




                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Chris Laning
                    Yes, it s very disappointing to the embroidery-minded that the best table linens were usually quite plain ;) The quality of the linen and, sometimes, the
                    Message 9 of 13 , Apr 1, 2013
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                      Yes, it's very disappointing to the embroidery-minded that the "best" table linens were usually quite plain ;)

                      The quality of the linen and, sometimes, the elegance of a woven-in design were apparently the things that mattered most for social status.

                      On Apr 1, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Laurie Clarkston wrote:

                      > Kammy,
                      >
                      > As far as decorating go, the linen tablecloths would have very little in the way of decorated items. It would be the plates, cups, silverware, and candlesticks--you will see this in some of the pictures Karen sent you.
                      >
                      > As far as decorations go: If the house/castle/manor were having important guests, enough to bring out the bright-white linens, they would also have a sideboard or table displaying all of their silver plate and/or gold plates (platters, plates, bowls, candlesticks, pitchers, etc...) lined up to show off.
                      >
                      > A lot of wealth would have been in plates, platters, and other objects and not used other than to display before important guest. It would be placed out in a noted location (much like putting a collection of family pictures on the fireplace mantle, or on the piano for display--that we do today).
                      >
                      > If they fell on harder times, these items would be sold off, or melted down and exchanged for coin or goods, since "banking" was not around then, and having a bag of coins was not always a good thing to keep around, let alone display...grin.
                      >
                      > Cairistiona
                      >

                      ____________________________________________________________

                      O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
                      + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...>
                      http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
                      ____________________________________________________________
                    • Kammy Chinnock
                      Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time hand
                      Message 10 of 13 , Apr 3, 2013
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                        Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me
                        researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time
                        hand hemming them!



                        Kammy Chinnock





                        From: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com]
                        On Behalf Of Chris Laning
                        Sent: Monday, April 01, 2013 8:59 AM
                        To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [Authentic_SCA] Table Linens





                        Yes, it's very disappointing to the embroidery-minded that the "best" table
                        linens were usually quite plain ;)

                        The quality of the linen and, sometimes, the elegance of a woven-in design
                        were apparently the things that mattered most for social status.

                        On Apr 1, 2013, at 7:26 AM, Laurie Clarkston wrote:

                        > Kammy,
                        >
                        > As far as decorating go, the linen tablecloths would have very little in
                        the way of decorated items. It would be the plates, cups, silverware, and
                        candlesticks--you will see this in some of the pictures Karen sent you.
                        >
                        > As far as decorations go: If the house/castle/manor were having important
                        guests, enough to bring out the bright-white linens, they would also have a
                        sideboard or table displaying all of their silver plate and/or gold plates
                        (platters, plates, bowls, candlesticks, pitchers, etc...) lined up to show
                        off.
                        >
                        > A lot of wealth would have been in plates, platters, and other objects and
                        not used other than to display before important guest. It would be placed
                        out in a noted location (much like putting a collection of family pictures
                        on the fireplace mantle, or on the piano for display--that we do today).
                        >
                        > If they fell on harder times, these items would be sold off, or melted
                        down and exchanged for coin or goods, since "banking" was not around then,
                        and having a bag of coins was not always a good thing to keep around, let
                        alone display...grin.
                        >
                        > Cairistiona
                        >

                        __________________________________________________________

                        O (Dame) Christian de Holacombe, OL - Shire of Windy Meads
                        + Kingdom of the West - Chris Laning <claning@...
                        <mailto:claning%40igc.org> >
                        http://paternoster-row.org - http://paternosters.blogspot.com
                        __________________________________________________________





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Janis James
                        You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table linens though. While not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered border makes me feel very
                        Message 11 of 13 , Apr 3, 2013
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                          You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table linens though. While
                          not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered border makes me feel very happy and
                          having matching table napkins with a little embroidery in one corner to identify
                          each user - also makes me feel good. I do tend to use a pattern/design from the
                          time period with correct period colours and correct fabrics too. I might not enter it
                          in an A&S competition, but when setting out a feast table I love the look.
                          Cheers, Sine

                          Sine Gunnsdottir
                          Tir Righ/ AnTir




                          To: Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com
                          From: klchinnock@...
                          Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 09:41:32 -0600
                          Subject: RE: [Authentic_SCA] Table Linens





                          Thank you all for the helpful hints about table cloths! That has saved me
                          researching authentic designs for decorating them! I can just spend my time
                          hand hemming them!

                          Kammy Chinnock

                          .





                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Karen_Larsdatter
                          I ve gone ahead and set up a new linkspage with some more of the 16th century damask linen tablecloths I ve found; you can find it at
                          Message 12 of 13 , Apr 4, 2013
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                            I've gone ahead and set up a new linkspage with some more of the 16th century damask linen tablecloths I've found; you can find it at http://larsdatter.com/damask-table-linens.htm

                            Sine wrote:
                            > You know - I still like working a little embroidery on my table
                            > linens though. While not entirely authentic - a nice embroidered
                            > border makes me feel very happy and having matching table napkins
                            > with a little embroidery in one corner to identify each user - also
                            > makes me feel good. I do tend to use a pattern/design from the
                            > time period with correct period colours and correct fabrics too.
                            > I might not enter it in an A&S competition, but when setting out
                            > a feast table I love the look.

                            Embroidered table linens are certainly not non-period, but it's less common, even in wealthier households (where, if we're in the 16th century, the damask linen could be custom-woven for the household's needs, anyway). There are examples of embroidered table-carpets from the 16th and 17th centuries -- one of the most well-known of these is the Bradford carpet, which you can find at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_carpet or http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O78745/bradford-table-carpet-table-carpet-unknown/ -- though again, these are table carpets and not really table linens, so it's unlikely that food would have been served directly on top of this.

                            There's a rather nice little textile photographed in "Medieval Craftsmen: Embroiderers" that seems to be an embroiderer's interpretation of one of the Perugia-style brocaded linens (again, see http://larsdatter.com/perugia-tablecloths.htm for several examples). I've done an embroidered table-covering in this sort of style as well. It's easy to re-create the Perugia brocaded ornamentation with a needle and thread in a monochromatic embroidery technique.

                            Speaking of monochromatic embroidery, another style that I think would be eminently suitable for a southern Italian table would be the voided-work styles; most of the extant examples that remain are just the embroidered strips, but IIRC there are sufficient examples of 16th & 17th century Italian household linens with this style of embroidery that it would not be completely out of the question. This is the form of cross stitch that modern embroiderers often call Assisi work; you can see several period examples at http://www.larsdatter.com/voided-work.htm too.

                            Also in terms of Italian textiles, there is the lovely (and potentially embroidered) table-covering in this mid-16th century portrait by Bacchiacca: http://www.getty.edu/museum/research/provenance/provResearch?handle=plid&id=777
                            Like the table-carpets in various portraits at http://larsdatter.com/carpets.htm this also seems to be used as a table-covering in a non-culinary context.

                            It does make sense, though, if you think about it; as with undergarments, tablecloths would need to be cleaned very regularly, preferably bleached white to indicate their quality and cleanliness. (See http://www.larsdatter.com/laundry.htm for some images of how sun-bleaching linens was done.) For a household tablecloth that would get used under food, white linen would make quite a lot of sense. :)


                            Karen Larsdatter
                            www.larsdatter.com
                          • Kammy Chinnock
                            The information is awesome! Sine, that is what I was thinking of, that I just wanted the table to look pretty. Setting a beautiful table always makes me feel
                            Message 13 of 13 , Apr 6, 2013
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                              The information is awesome!



                              Sine, that is what I was thinking of, that I just wanted the table to look
                              pretty. Setting a beautiful table always makes me feel good!



                              Karen, the links are wonderful! Thanks for research work. Your knowledge
                              is so appreciated!



                              Kammy Chinnock





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