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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: lendube
Date: 03-08-2007, 10:20 PM (1 of 6)
Hard to figure out where to post this one. :nc:

My grandmother recently passed away (she would have been 98 on St. Patty's Day! :bluesmile ) My Mom got a package of her belongings recently and one of the items I brought home was a tea towel that was part of a trouseau belonging to the mother of the invalid woman my grandmother and grandfather cared for for 45 years.

This towel has embroidered initials (which would have been typical for brides to do with their household belongings), is made of beautiful off-white linen with a few red stripes at either end of this large (31"x24") tea towel. The woman my grandparents cared for was born in 1899 and had an older sibling so I'm assuming that the bride would have acquired this towel in the later 1800's.

Now my question. Two of the edges are selvege and two are machine stitched. To me it seems odd. I know sewing machines were around and it was considered prestigious to own one at this time.

This was a very wealthy family, I know. This was also in Europe, Holland to be exact. Would anyone here know whether it was something wealthy folks did at that time? I mean, would a wealthy family have sent such things "out" to be made? Or done it themselves?

I realize someone might have machine stitched it later but at 115 years old or so there hasn't been much wear.


Thanks. Lennie :bg:
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: Tom Land
Date: 03-08-2007, 11:24 PM (2 of 6)
I really have no idea but... Holland was the worlds center for slave trade which is where most of its wealthy got their wealth. Slavery wasn't abolished until 1863. I would suspect that the sewing was done by a slave or if later, by a freed slave that was working as a domestic.
Have fun or don't do it, Tom
User: Tom Land
Member since: 09-21-2005
Total posts: 514
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 03-13-2007, 04:31 PM (3 of 6)
My Grandparents were average .. They married in 1898. My Mom was born in 1914. She was the 8th of 10 children born.(3 died in infancy).. My Grandmother had a sewing machine. (New Home).. My Mom said it was always there.. My Grandmother made all the girls clothing as well as her own.. And Quillts, also...
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: pinecone
Date: 03-13-2007, 08:57 PM (4 of 6)
I have some linen napkins that my grandmother made for her trousseau. She was born in 1899, married 1921. They have f ag*ting on them and her last initial in crewel type work. I believe the sewing machine was invented c.1840??? It is very possible that the lady made them herself, IMHO.
User: pinecone
Member since: 03-10-2007
Total posts: 59
From: lendube
Date: 03-13-2007, 09:37 PM (5 of 6)
Thanks for your input.

I guess I'll never know now since those that would know are gone.

Libby, your Mom sounds like my grandmother and her family. She was the 15th of 17 born (twins died at birth). My grandmother was born in 1909, a terrific lady and lucid till the end.

Lennie :bluesmile
User: lendube
Member since: 08-06-2006
Total posts: 1548
From: paroper
Date: 03-13-2007, 10:16 PM (6 of 6)
There is an online site that includes the history of the Singer Sewing machine. There were brands of machines that were available before Singer but he is the one that put the machine in the common household. Wanna know how???? He invented time-pay!

There are some very interesting links at this site too!!!

Be sure and check out the section on is facinating..even if you just look at the advertising pics.

Singer's history is amazing!

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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