french collectibles – household linens and a giveaway

by Sharon Santoni

antique french textiles

Spring has put me into giveaway mood, and today I’ll be sharing my love of vintage and antique kitchen linens.

antique french textiles


One of the easiest things to collect, or should I say ‘hoard’ in my case, around here, is antique household linens.  I have cupboards and armoires bursting at the seams.   I pick them up at our country fairs, sometimes just one or two pieces at a time, on occasions I find trunk loads. Of course I never need that extra set of six dishcloths, or that beautiful old grainsack, but they just call out to me, begging to come home and be loved.

antique french textiles

I don’t mind their imperfections, I don’t even mind a tiny, perfectly darned hole.  I am simply drawn to the quality of the fabric and in awe of the time that someone has spent hemming and embroidering a humble napkin or dishcloth.


The French collect linens too.   The best families would have had their own resident seamstress, with excellent eyesight and immeasurable patience, embroidering, monogramming and sewing exquisite garments and linens.   Those families pass the linens down through the generations until they come into the possession of a dissident  great grandchild who really doesn’t get their beauty and the textiles  end up given away, sold or sometimes even binned….  Yes, I know, it’s painful …

antique french textiles

One of my biggest thrills is if I come across a whole armoire of linens at an antique dealer, piles of mismatched sheets and bundles of napkins and tablecloths.  When I found this armoire while out with a friend, it took me over an hour to go through the shelves, sorting and putting the most interesting pieces to one side.

antique french textiles

I loved the neat packets of matching cloths, carefully labelled, many who had never been used.  Embroidered, counted, wrapped and stored for another day … a day that never came.

 antique french textiles

So to be sure of not repeating the same hoarder’s mistake of letting linens age quietly alone behind locked doors, I make a point of using mine everyday.  The red striped dishcloths in my kitchen; the soft linen grain sacks for cushions and old embroidered tablecloths in my dining room


antique french textiles

So today I would like one of my readers to enjoy the luxury of vintage cloths in her kitchen;  I am running a giveaway, on instagram.  The winner will be drawn next Friday.   To take part in the giveaway, simply pop over to my instagram page.  Click on ‘follow’, and leave me a comment about the linens.

antique french textiles

The winner will win these three vintage dishcloths, never used, one of which has a tiny monogrammed ribbon in a corner.  And if you share the giveaway on instagram, be sure to come back and tell me so you get a second chance to win.   And if by any chance you don’t have an instagram account yet, then this could be the right moment to sign up!

My French Country Home on Instagram


Corrie April 10, 2015 - 3:39 pm

Well of course I’m going to tell everyone about these gorgeous things!! Would be nice to have French linen in my kitchen instead of my husband using it for his window cleaning as it doesn’t leave lint on the glass. The red strips would say “hands off! Kitchen only!” Lol.

Lynn April 10, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Love, love these old linens!

Lana April 10, 2015 - 3:46 pm

I left a comment on the Instagram site. Love the tea towels.

Corrie April 10, 2015 - 3:49 pm

Well of course I’m goin to tell everyone about these lovely things!! It would be nice to have real French linen in my kitchen instead of my husband using it for his window cleaning business (because it doesn’t leave lint on the glass!) lol.

Stephanie April 10, 2015 - 3:52 pm

I am a huge fan of textiles, in all forms. I love embroidered items too and wish I had time to do some of my own. (Maybe when I retire). I live in a small town in south Louisiana where people still speak French, including my own parents. However, finding treasures, like French linens, is not likely here. I would truly treasure some dish clothes from you!

Karena April 10, 2015 - 3:54 pm

Sharon, I am definitely going over to enter at Instagram! There is nothing I would love more than these cherished French linen dishtowels. I love the red striping and monogram!

The Arts by Karena

Kim Kleimann April 10, 2015 - 4:04 pm

I did it, I am following you on instagram! (you are my first to follow) Thanks for the chance to win the lovely linens.

DianeD April 10, 2015 - 4:04 pm

Love love your linens! Loveyour blog!

Mary April 10, 2015 - 4:08 pm

I love these old linens, they are so evocative of France and times gone by. I would love to benefit from your giveaway and would give them a wonderful home!

Wilma Austin April 10, 2015 - 4:08 pm

LOVE your French postings. Was fortunate to travel with son and daughter to Provence once a long time ago. It changes a persons life forever. Loved the street markets. Bought an antique pillow sham. It finally rotted away last year. I thought of who made it every time I put it on our bed.

Josephine April 10, 2015 - 4:13 pm

Love your linens, I also collect all types of old linens.
I would sign up to Instagram, but my IPad is so old is not possible for me to do it.
Best to the future lucky winner of the wonderful linens.

Laura Ingalls Gunn April 10, 2015 - 4:27 pm

There truly is nothing better than French linens. Thank you for the opportunity. Have a lovely weekend.

lynda dunham-watkins April 10, 2015 - 4:29 pm

Would love to win this!!

suzanna April 10, 2015 - 4:36 pm

I’m like you Sharon, I love kitchen towels and use nothing but these. I love your offers but I don’t have a instagram account, boo….I love these linens, love love love them and sheets…..thanks so much Sharon xo

Sharon Eisen April 10, 2015 - 4:44 pm

Ah! Someone who likes antique linens as much as I do!

Peggy Braswell April 10, 2015 - 4:45 pm

don’t have an Instagram account + too many things going down.

Lorrie April 10, 2015 - 4:53 pm

I’m a linen fan, too and collect it when I find it. One day I hope to return to France (before all the linens are gone) and visit a few brocantes for the express purpose of picking up some beautiful pieces like you’ve shown.

I’m not on Instagram and don’t want to join up. Luck to all the participants.

Liz Boothroyd April 10, 2015 - 4:56 pm

Hi Sharon,

I have been following your blog for a little while now and greatly admire your refreshing and inspirational approach to life. I have lived in the Loire valley now for eleven years with my husband and two of my children (older two stayed in England). We run a gite business alongside my husband’s small building firm. I love nothing more than collecting old linens, whether they be vintage monogrammed sheets to any scrap of precious linen or lace. They are reminders of a bygone age, an age when our grandmother’s with skill and great care left their mark. I am a regular visitor to Emmaus where I have found some quite lovely pieces for a reasonable sum.

Thank you for sharing your ideas and knowledge.

Joann April 10, 2015 - 6:02 pm

I love these so much!! First of all, my favorite color is red—and red combined with the rustic light tones of linen are just incredible to me. My mother is German-born, so I grew up with lots of linens on the table. Always a tablecloth, and always towels that did not leave fragments on the glassware….these are very hard to come by in the US, so I would love a chance to have some! Thank you for your beautiful site!!

Lauren Haines April 10, 2015 - 7:24 pm

I love 100% linen tea towels and they are so difficult to come by in this part of the world.

Joanne Boulter April 10, 2015 - 7:27 pm

Your linens are so precious, the blue one are my favorite. Your pictures on instagram are amazing. Thank you, Jo

Sandy April 10, 2015 - 8:26 pm

I too, Love French Linen. I have a very small amount, but I hope to one day be able to visit France and find a Linen closet Hoard just like you! Perhaps, maybe even with you, that would be more fun. 🙂

Sondra April 10, 2015 - 8:55 pm

I have several vintage linens and love the “weight” of the old linen. Difficult to find such heavyweight linen in this day and age.

Rhonell April 10, 2015 - 10:52 pm

I reside in the Dordogne region for four months of the year.
The rest of the time I live in Queesland, Australia.
I love all the things you share.
I have passed your info to my friends here and my daughter Michelle loves everything French.
Can’t wait for your book .. Would even be cheeky enough to request it autographed xx

Susan Sugar April 10, 2015 - 11:04 pm

Linens –
It’s not a chore to wash, iron and store them.
It’s pure delight to use them night after night.

Vicky from Athens April 10, 2015 - 11:27 pm

I’m drooling over the gorgeous linens! I especially love the napkins/towels with double D. By the time these beautiful linens make their way to the U.S. they are soooo expensive. How wonderful to be able to find these so close to home – lucky you!

suzana borlovan April 10, 2015 - 11:59 pm

Wow Sharon what a giveaway. x

Ann Jones April 11, 2015 - 2:49 am

Love vintage linens, even more your inspiring blog topped off with your fabulous photography that I save on my i-pad in it’s very own album!

Bea April 11, 2015 - 8:01 am

Love collecting french linen . I am so glad to hear of someone else buying not really neading all the dish cothes table linen bed linen but just to see it in my cupboard And being able taking a piece out is amazing . Hopefully one day I will be in France to do the flea markets Bea

Desiree Hammer April 11, 2015 - 8:58 am

I love this choice of yours plain and simple. I just found some new dishtowels aqua and white printed with The kitchen is the heart of the home. Bon Chance a moi.

Dorka April 11, 2015 - 4:57 pm

O my, I have the same temptation to pillowcases embroidered in white.
My armoire burst of them.It looks like at my late grandma’s home. love from the sunny Puszta in Hungary Dorka

Truusje April 11, 2015 - 8:07 pm

I love those linens! Every year in spring we rent a house in Normandy for one week, and we are going there with my whole family ( my brother, my sister, their children and grandchildren) , We love to go to the brocantes and flea markets. And yes, there are many old fabrics in my closets and I use them also! First week of may we are going to Fleury la Foret and I am looking forward to it! Love your blog! Truusje

Jan Nash April 12, 2015 - 3:25 am

I would love to win these dishtowels. Would use them as napkins.

sylvia faye April 12, 2015 - 9:16 am

My sister before she was married did cutwork and embroderiery on sheets and pillow cases and many other items as well. They were beautiful. Most of us did some handwork before or after marriage. Married in the early 1950’s most families were in the same boat and lived quite simple lives but we loved our handworked teatowels, pillowcases, etc. Yes, we used a pulley closesline and brought back into the house when the clothes were dry the very best of fresh air smells. Nothing like God’s world for beauty and freshness.
Would love to be the winner but never ever go to any other media sources. If it is not email I’m not there.
With a joyful heart,

Laurie April 12, 2015 - 12:40 pm

I am moving and would love some old linens in my new to me home. They would add a sense of permanence.

cheryl April 12, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Antique linens are just beautiful. How fun it must be to come across them in an armoire (one of my favorite pieces of furniture) I use linen napkins everyday, just not as pretty as yours! Have a beautiful day.

Mumzi April 13, 2015 - 2:42 am

Aboulutely adore your site Sharon. Going to Europe is our ultimate trip. My husband was stationed in Germany in the Air Force and he wants to back and I want to go to France. Perhaps when re tire in 5 years if I can hang on that long reading your wonderful blogs!! I love your linens too!

Margaret April 13, 2015 - 10:57 am

How beautiful… and how sad. I live in Edinburgh and one often finds in the charity shops handworked tablecloths and napkins and so on that were once the pride of grandma’s “bottom drawer” or hope chest. I have one tablecloth my mother worked and I treasure it. I cannot imagine throwing it away. I am glad there are people like you who make it their business to rescue such treasures and pass them on to others who will value them.

Marina April 13, 2015 - 5:35 pm

Hello! So, I’m 48! Time to join Instagram! Just absolutely love these French towels! Thank you for your wonderful blog!

Megan Filzen April 13, 2015 - 10:28 pm

Follow and Shared on Instagram!

Margaret April 14, 2015 - 10:30 am

I’ve now followed you on Instagram too. Really love the linens….and your blog

Missy Schutz April 14, 2015 - 9:21 pm

follow on IG via schutzme

Ingrid Wilson April 16, 2015 - 9:50 am

I always enjoy reading your blog and follow you on Instagram too. When will you announce the winner/winners? Kind regards from South Africa.

Colleen Taylor April 16, 2015 - 11:30 pm

Sharon, I’ve been gone for awhile due to the death of my mother. I’ve been going through old linens & artifacts from my mother’s life. Much has been heartbreaking, especially the letters. It’s good to be back home now. Of course I will scoot on over to IG & leave a message. I hope you are well. Thank you for the opportunity. X

Colleen Taylor April 16, 2015 - 11:34 pm

Sharon, I have now gone over to Instagram & mentioned this. Thank you again.

rosemary April 17, 2015 - 2:36 pm


janet mignone April 19, 2015 - 5:33 pm

I love this blog, I love old antiques and linens, i have recently have gone french with furniture and with all colors and white dishes made in Franve and Italy, antiques, very old
white and cream pitchers and vases and other dishes. NOTHING Is Better, than old world
designs and the histroy that comes with it all.

Thank you for the moments in the site of ours that brings all of us back home.,

Janet Mignone ( Italian and French history in our family.)


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