Saturday, March 22, 2014

Antique Cocktail Napkins and Coasters!

Collecting antique textiles can be fun an practical.  There are so many items that don't involve wrestling 120" long pieces of linen.  In selling linens on Ebay, I found that a lot of people give antique linen as gifts.  It is something unusual as a hostess gift:  not too expensive, but something really fun for them to use and enjoy.

The one drawback is that you do have to iron them, but they are so much more elegant to use than paper napkins, and ironing only takes a few seconds, because they're usually about 4" x 6".  Antique coasters are great to use--don't necessarily have to iron after every use, unless it gets stained, and the lace ones often don't need ironing.

If you read my post on hankies, you know that I love Madeira embroidery.  Cocktail napkins can originate from many places.  They can be home-made, and have lace on them, but mostly they have fun figural designs.  I think roosters seem to be the most common, but many animals follow.

Cocktail Napkins
These cocktail napkins have an applique rooster on them.  Aren't they adorable!

These napkins are the most common to find.  However finding a large set is very unusual.

These Madeira napkins have the original metal tag on them.  Items with this tag indicate the highest quality embroidery from Madeira.
This rooster is very well done.  I love the red.
Aren't these works of art!  I love these figural napkins.
Wouldn't you love to get these as a hostess gift!
These appliqued animals are adorable.
I would like 3 dozen, please!

Can you see these in a summer party? On July 4, cherry red works for me!

These were cute in all the colors.   The little reticella bird is adorable.

These look like Marghab napkins, but they are a knockoff.  How can you tell?  The quality-the embroidery is great on the fish, but the edging is frayed.  That doesn't happen on Marghab.  However a scissor trim would solve this. 
These are handmade applique, aren't they cute!

Elegant Madeira grape embroidery.

These for sure should be a gift to an interior designer friend!

The napkins above are harder to find than luncheon napkins.  The sets below would make great gifts and work well as a hostess gift.  Think of a dozen tied up with vintage ribbon.

Fine Madeira embroidery.

Victorian eyelit embroidery

Fabulous set of a dozen cutwork napkins.

Cream Brussels lace edged napkins

Point de Venise lace with filet lace edge.

Really fun fringed napkins with great monogram

High quality fine monogram and embroidery

Fine yellow applique work.  

Another plentiful option is coasters.  They go for a song on Ebay--and I can't believe how cheap they are.

Check out the wonderful quality--click on photo to enlarge.
These are Madeira, of course.

Fabulous lace coasters.

Madeira applique

It's always fun when you find the original box.  These are a nice simple design.

Awesome example of drawnwork.  Each square is a little different.
These wonderful Quimper coasters were  too cute to pass up.
Royal Society silk embroidery coasters are still fairly easy to find.
The more ornate the embroidery, the more expensive they are.
 These pink rose ones are killer!
Of course, the quality of Marghab embroidery done in Madeira is superb.
A stunning set of Marghab coasters like these would be an awesome gift.
Didn't see anything that caught your eye?  Think they're a bit too spendy for your budget?  Well, we have another idea:  Fingertip towels!  Below is a photo of a few Madeira and Marghab designs.

You can always find a set of fingertip towels for $2 to $4 each.  

I hope you enjoyed this walk through antique linen!   Wouldn't you love it if someone gave you a unique item like this as a hostess gift?  I would!


  1. Oh wow! I like the pink rose ones and the black pig ones!

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  3. What a lovely and diverse array of linens. My speciality is Marghab linens but I truly enjoy looking at blogs that show beautifully made appliqué and embroidered linen items, like yours.

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