Giving New Life to Old Linens

This past natural dyeing season–that’s Spring, Summer and Fall in Chicago–went so quickly I scarcely had time to consider all that I dyed.  I created lots of hand-dyed scraps of natural cloth, including linen, silk and cotton.  Some of the cloth was for my personal story cloth making, and some of it was sold in my Etsy shop.

I also repurposed some old vintage linens, mostly hand towels and napkins.  Small pieces, some hand-embroidered by others many years ago.  There was nothing so wrong about the linens except that aging look and maybe a few pinholes.  I naturally dyed many pieces with madder, logwood, Fustic, mint leaves, chamomile, cutch and black walnut.

Huck towel shibori dyed (wrapped pipe)
Huck towel detail, shibori dyed logwood and Fustic

I enjoy looking at the special touches added to vintage linens back in the day: monograms and sweet embroidery stitches, scalloped edges, drawn work, and “hidden” texture.

Madder-dyed vintage linen napkins


Fustic dyed vintage  cotton hand towels

Next time:  Repurposed cloth Christmas “patchwork” gifts.


Author: luvswool and dyestuff

Natural dyer. Chemist. Chicagoan. Felter. Weaver. Embroiderer.

4 thoughts on “Giving New Life to Old Linens”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s