Monday, 14 April 2014

Fleamarket finds, lace and embroidery.

I've always found it quite sad that we no longer use handkerchiefs. I mean the real kind made of thinnest cotton imaginable with beautiful lace and embroidery - and of course far less rubbish going to the trash dumps. Today, during my slightly too eventful two-hour shopping run I ended up at the Rauðakrossbúð in Mjódd and lo! and behold! their textiles section had sprouted a new basket full of handkerchiefs. The top ones were rather plain, pieces of patterned cotton hemmed around, nothing that interesting... but hey I had 15 min to kill before my bus. I dug through the entire basked for the entertainment and the deeper I got the more amazing the results. These three were right at the bottom.  

I feel like mentioning that I'm not an excellent judge on what's handmade and what's not but all three at least seem to have some part that's definitely not done by a machine. This handkerchief, for example, has crocheted lace going around and due to some minor irregularities in the work I'm almost sure the lace is handmade. Beautiful, the thickest of the three handkerchiefs and in best condition too.

The next one has a few spots but otherwise it's very nice! This embroidery pattern repeats at every corner.

Again, I'm willing to bet a small amount of money on that the embroidery is handmade. I will gladly take corrections too if you know better.

The third one's made of such thin cotton it's see-through! Sadly it has a large-ish stain, I'd try to remove it if I knew safe ways of going about it. This is one piece I seriously do not want to risk!

My verdict: 99% certain the embroidery is handmade. I'm giving it bonus points for the letter "A" because it fits my first name and I'm full of myself like that.

I'd also like to insist that the lade is handmade, but like mentioned I have almost no experience in rating lace. I don't even know the proper English term for this type of work! -.-

To save the best til last, guess how much money I burned on these babies? 

50kr each, in total 150kr. That's about 1E in total price, in fact a little less than that. I'm assuming handkerchiefs are hard to sell, or maybe that the stains in the two of them had landed them into that price range, but be it this way or that I'll just happily congratulate myself on a great find and begin researching gentle ways of removing stains from old textiles (or whether it's a good idea at all and I'd better just leave them as is). I'm mildly sad, though, at how low old, well-made and beautiful handicrafts are valued today...


  1. I already commented at FB, but for the education of the gentle readers of your blog - yes they are handmade. The last one is really nice drawn thread work, someone has totally ruined their eyesight while making it.

    1. Thank you for both comments! Seeing work like these always makes me wonder why the handkerchiefs were so important that people went through such a lot of trouble for them...