Janice Marble of Pieces of History Antique Linens and Lace Answers Linen Questions. Over this and the next comming months Janice Marble of Pieces of History Antique Linens and Lace will answer our most FAQs in a series of articles.
for ladies of high station. I have seen sheets as large as 130 by 160 inches, truly king size!
The question of what size antique sheet to buy for your bed will depend on your mattress size and personal preferences. The best way to figure this is to measure the length and width and height of your mattress. If you tuck your sheets in, add the width, twice the height and about 4-6 inches or more for tucking in for the total width; do the same for length. If you do not tuck your sheets (not tucking puts less stress on your sheets so they will wear better) all you need to know is the size of your mattress and how much overhang you like. An example would be like this for a queen bed: the width is 60 inches, the height 8 inches and 4-6 extra for tucking, you would need a sheet 80-82 inches minimum width and about 90 for length. If you do not tuck then 78-80 inches would be a minimum width and about 86 inches for a minimum length. If one person is sleeping in a large bed then a narrower sheet can be used. I never worry about a sheet being larger than needed as I just tuck the extra under. This works well for sheets and pillowcases that are one size too big such as putting a king sheet on a queen bed; it doesn't work well for huge size differences like a king sheet on a twin bed. If you fall in love with one of those huge European luxury sheets don't cut it, just tuck it in! If, on the other hand, you rave for a short American homespun sheet, it's easily made long enough by stitching a length of linen to the end and tucking it under; no one will know but you!
I will add one more question to this article.
3. Why bother with antique linens rather than buying new ones?
Linen is and has always been an expensive luxury fabric, either in time, money or both. Antique sheets are still a great bargain; they carry history, as well as a certain soft weighty feel (its called hand in the trade) that modern sheets cannot duplicate. The very early sheets are made from a linen type no longer grown today so they cannot be duplicated (that's why early sheets feel so different). Using antique linens is a wonderful experience; they are unique and something you just can't walk into any store and buy!
We at Pieces of History Antique Linens and Lace have a fine selection of both American and European linen sheets, pillowcases and shams. Choosing some will enhance your home and comfort - we feel you will fall in love with them as we have ours! Enjoy!