Collector’s Corner: Linens for Tea

Collector's Corner: Linens for Tea
Printed Dutch-motif set with hand- stitched hem; date unknown.

In my collection, I have plain sets, but most of them have a fringe or some kind of lace, seam binding, or different stitching around the edges. I have used most of my linens when I have hosted tea luncheons, covering each table with a different set with corresponding napkins. Some of the sets are stained, but that just makes me think they were used for special occasions.

I also choose tea linens because of the different scenes that are on them. There is a Dutch windmill scene on one of the tablecloths, and the napkins have different scenes of men and women working in the gardens. Another set has a butterfly-and-flower scene on the tablecloth with butterflies on a corner of the napkins. There is one that has embroidered flowers on the tablecloth with a different colored flower on each napkin. One of my favorite sets to use in the fall has really delicate edging around the tablecloth and napkins. The set is made with linen and is so soft. I have a fall tea service that I pair it with.