linens and old lace


My mother recently gave me linens my great grandmother received when she was a bride. Her name was Concetta. She was my father’s grandmother. We have the same initials so it is pretty cool to have these linens.

I have vague and shadowy memories of my great grandparents on my father’s side. I remember visiting them with my father when I was a tiny child, around three, I think.

I remember a tiny woman in black sitting in a chair speaking Italian, and I remember my great grandfather being a somewhat intimidating figure to a small child. I remember him being rather tall and jingling coins (change) in his pocket.

Just a random memory . It is funny what children remember.

Another thing I remember ? A particularly snowy Christmas in 1969. I was five and my sister two.

We lived in Philadelphia at that time in Society Hill. There was so much snow that the trolleys and cars couldn’t run on the streets and I remember being pulled down the middle of our street on a sled.

These old linens and pieces of handmade lace are easily over 100 years old. So I have wrapped them up in unbuffered acid-free archival tissue paper. It’s a must for old textiles especially if you don’t use them much.

These linens also don’t get stored in the attic or basement because linens of this age require very even and stable temperatures as well as preferably a darker storage area.

I wonder what Concetta looked like as a young bride? I never saw photos of her anywhere.

I love old and vintage textiles but I generally prefer ones I can use. These linens are part of my family history so I have to treat them well, which means not using them a great deal.

Thanks for indulging my walk down memory lane on another snowy evening.