Sunday, September 25, 2011

Drawn-Thread Hankies

A few weeks ago I bought a baggie of vintage hankies from an estate sale on 1/2 price day.  I now realize I should have bought all of them.  When I looked at the 12 hankies I had bought I was surprised by the quality and workmanship on these tiny treasures.  Here is a pic of the most amazing one that I am selling.  It is less than 10 inches square and made of tightly-woven cotton.  I took this at 600 dpi so I could look at it closer.  This is actual size.

The embroidery and drawn-thread work are so fine you cannot see the stitches with the naked eye.  Here are two screenshots I took when I blew up the above scan.

That's satin stitch, not outline stitch.  And check out the buttonhole stitch around the edge.

Here is one I'm keeping for myself and framing.  The drawn-thread work is amazing!  This is actual size.  Again, too small to see the detail.

 Here is the detail.

Can you imagine the size of the needle and the time it took to work this?

Check out the other hankies I have for sale in my Etsy store.  Today I found an unused lipstick hankie from the 1950's.  They were made in a dark red cotton so you could correct your lipstick and not mess up a nice white hankie.

I have a small collection of children's hankies packed away and will dig them out for subsequent posts.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


If I have a secret vice it is tassels.  In all colors and sizes and materials.  I just can't resist them--especially when on deep discount.

The next three pictures are of some tiebacks I got yesterday at Field's Fabrics for $2.97 each!

A little mussed because it was knocking around in a box at the store.

It's twin still sporting a taming cellophane.  Don't you just love those little monkey balls? (or monkey's fists)


I love tassels so much I have them all over the house.

On a valance.

On a chair.

On another chair.

Hanging from the chandelier.

A special category for me is beaded tassels.  Most of them are stored with my Christmas decorations as they seem to appear at that time of year.  Of course I wait until the after-holiday discounts to buy--unless they are REALLY special!

The best places to look are Big Lots and Fruit Basket Flowerland (in Grand Rapids, MI).  Sometimes Target or Meijers will have them in their decorations, too.  The best beaded ones are made by underpaid workers from India.

I think I first became fascinated with them when I read an article about Scalamandre in Victorian Homes a long time ago.  They were making reproduction curtains for an historic house with a big budget.  Pictures showed artisans making elaborate tassels and tie-backs with wooden moulds and silk thread.  Sadly, even things in their discount store were too expensive for me.  The link above to their store does not show many tassels, unfortunately, but it does link to some fabulous Vanderbilt mansions they have decorated.