The Luxury of Cloth

Vintage fabrics are so lucious to the eye and touch…justification enough to explain my love for household cloth goods of decades gone by. And I’m far from alone! One of the joys of working on The Kitchen Linens Book was making the acquaintance of others also so enamored. 
This dining cloth is part of a collection in the care of Jan Smallwood. Vintage 1930s, the printing technique is called grinning – where an area of white was used to separate designs and colors, so as to lessen the chance of colors overlapping. It’s in perfect condition, with hardly any fading, 

although it was often used and washed and line dried by Jan’s mother-in-law, Mona Gae Presley Smallwood, whose father was a first or second cousin to Vernon Presley, Elvis’s father!!! (a bit of detail so personally exciting, I think it’s worth the 3 exclamation points)  Mona Gae’s household goods were her personal wealth, and she would be amazed to see the cloths she so carefully tended now safeguarded by Jan as precious family heirlooms.  

The Depression was a terrible time, when a brightly colored cloth was for many women all they had to lift the spirit.
Tie One On…an apron, of course!


  1. It’s always interesting how color or the subject of a particular print has us envisioning a new apron. I know the style you’re referring to, and as you guessed, I’ve got a healthy selection!


  2. You refer to the bright colors and patterns lifting the spirits of homemakers during the Depression. But I feel that the gift these linens provide are timeless and these same pieces of cloth can lift my spirits anytime. Nothing can bring me out of a blah day like some retail therapy through a vintage linen display or even straightening my own collection.

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