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When you think of primitives and the linens of that time, remember how precious cloth was during the 19th century & before, when cloth was made from scratch. That meant starting with the raw materials like flax, cotton, wool, etc and then going through the long process of preparing the raw material to be made into thread or yarn, dyed in different colors, then woven on a loom and finally constructed into a garment or linen piece for the home. Fabrics that come to mind are fabrics like, cotton, homespun, woolens, damask etc. Below are some examples of damask towels that have designs woven into the piece.
Other linens were made of homespun which can be identified by the coarse nobby effect in the fabric. Below is an example of homespun that has been decoratively fashioned with crochet and made into a pillow cover:
Thank you for that lesson and lovely photos Deanna, linens is one area in which I am always looking to learn more about. I have started to become more fond of them lately and have been picking up pieces here and there at sales, etc. I really love that pillow cover!
Adding to the charm of primitive textiles are the popular rag balls which are fabric wrapped spheres that were wrapped in preparation for making braided rag rugs. Here is a nice group of old rag balls - which have become a decorative addition to country settings. Currently for sale at the Vintage Touch ONLINE store at: Group of Rag Balls