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European Traditions in Linens and Housewares

Our discoveries along the byways of France and Beyond


French Table Linens

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Choosing French Table Linens

French Table LinensThe French table linens we currently sell are linens which I have used and are from the French companies Beauvillé &  Garnier-Thiebaut, and Provencal designs from Couleur Nature and  Vent du Sud.  The companies have a strong reputation in France and their table linens have been continuously used in restaurants and homes since the mid 1800s. Please visit our e-store to see their collections. 

When I first purchased the French tablecloths, napkins, placemats and runners, I bought them because the prints and colors were appealing to me. Since then I have learned a great deal about quality and design, making it easier for me to choose more appropriately.

The quality of the French table linens is important since good quality linens are easier to care for and last for many years.  How does one tell quality?  Well, let’s start with the feel of the material.  The feel of the material should be solid.  Be careful here because some companies use so much sizing that it is difficult to tell if the fabric is solid or simply “glued” together.  Sizing will wash out and along with it the color and design.  If you want a cloth for a picnic or two these will do, but if you want to have something that will last and will require little ironing, will release stains easily and will hold their color and shape, quality French table linens should be your first choice.

Garnier Thiebaut Appoline Tablecloth - FlamantQuality table linens should also be constructed so that you needn’t spend time re-hemming or removing spots and stains.  Hems should be firm, even and not puckered.  They serve three purposes: first they keep fabric from raveling; second they help the linens maintain their shape; and finally they give a finished look to the linens.  Table linens which simply have stitching to bind the edges will not last through many washings.  The stitching will pull away from the fabric and will cause the fabric to fray.  Furthermore the stitching will allow the fabric to pull along the bias leading to the table linen to pull out of shape.  As for spotting and staining, 100 percent cotton table linens are easiest to deal with.  Both grease and wine and fruit stains are more easily removed from 100 percent cotton than with blends.  This is especially true with polyester blends and grease, even the use of various spot treatments tend to leave grease stains.

Finally, quality table linens have colors which last and designs which remain interesting and pleasant to look at over time.  Colors can be either printed or woven in and should not run or fade over time.  Beauville and Valdrome use a process of printing designs which has been developed over many years.  The colors remain true and therefore the designs will continue to charm.  Garnier-Thiebaut uses a jacquard weaving process which also maintains color and textured design.  Both companies have their table linens designed by French artists who are painters and sculptors and have excellent artistic ability.   The colors are balanced as are the designs and will blend easily with any decor.

The main difficulty I find when choosing table linen is deciding which to buy.  There are so many different designs and I want to have them all.  I personally enjoy those designs which have just a touch of whimsy about them or perhaps give a sense of history, but even with that I find the others very tempting too.  As you look to make your table linen purchase remember that I have already taken into consideration many of the factors which determine quality so that what remains for you to decide is color and design. Feel free to browse a variety of quality French table linens at our e-store.

Amitie, Hospitalite, Qualite

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