Vintage estate set of twelve (12) Irish linen embroidered napkins in a soft creamy white color with luxurious embroidery on one corner and lace trim. Vintage condition with some very light age-related overall discoloring (darkening / yellowing) and some very tiny spots. No tears, rips, repairs or other damage to note. Each vintage Irish linen embroidered napkin measures 16.5" x 15.5". These have been cleaned, lightly starched, pressed and have been stored away for many, many years. (c. 1950's)
Napkins have been around since the Middle Ages when more refined folk stopped wiping their mouths on the tablecloth and started providing individual linen squares for themselves and their sloppier guests. Napkins as they are known today traditionally originated in the city of Rheims in France, noted for its fine cloth. The city presented King Charles VII with a set of table napkins at his coronation in 1422.
Just prior to the French Revolution, the standard size of table napkins was 45 by 35 inches, and the standard fabric white damask. Napkins and table cloths became a common sight in the 18th century. By the end of 18th century the use of table linen was elevated to a greater standard.
Irish linen is the brand name given to linen produced in Ireland. Linen is cloth woven from, or yarn spun from the flax fiber, which was grown in Ireland for many years before advanced agricultural methods and more suitable climate led to the concentration of quality flax cultivation in northern Europe (Most of the world crop of quality flax is now grown in Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands).
Since about the 1950s to 1960s the flax fiber for Irish Linen yarn has been, almost exclusively, imported from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Irish linen spinning has now virtually ceased, yarns being imported from places such as Eastern Europe and China. The best of these yarns are still spun, on the whole, from Northern European flax.
Irish linen yarn is defined as yarn which is spun in Ireland from 100% flax fibers. Irish linen fabric is defined as fabric which is woven in Ireland from 100% linen yarns.
A2442 - Vintage IRISH LINEN Embroidered Napkins Set of Twelve (12)