French Tablecloths

The Scent of Lavender

Posted by Laurence Bertone on

Lavender is one of the recurring themes that you'll find in a number of our French table linens, and with good reason - lavender has "roots" (so to speak) in southern France that go back thousands of years.  The ancient Romans used wild lavender from Provence to freshen their laundry and perfume their baths - in fact it's likely that the French words laver (to wash) and lavande (lavender) are descended from the same Latin stem (as it were). In the Middle Ages lavender was used to make perfumes and medicines. In the 19th century the cultivation of lavender helped...

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French Oilcloth vs Coated Cotton Tablecloths

Posted by Laurence Bertone on

Once in a while customers ask us if we have “real French oilcloth” tablecloths. The short answer is no. The long answer is much more complicated, but hopefully more interesting as well… Oilcloth (toile cirée in French) is a fabric that was common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was made from heavy cotton canvas or linen fabric that was repeatedly saturated with boiled linseed oil and dried. The resulting fabric was more waterproof and stain resistant than normal untreated cotton, and so it was a very popular material for tablecloths intended for everyday use. In the...

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French Tablecloth

Posted by Laurence Bertone on

All of our tablecloths and table linens are designed and manufactured in France.  You might think that's stating the obvious, but in fact many of the products that are marketed as "French tablecloths" or "French table linens" are actually not made in France - they're made in places like India or even China.  Some vendors use very carefully chosen language like "French inspired tablecloth" or "Provençal style tablecloth" to tiptoe gingerly around the fact that said tablecloth was not made in France. Some vendors are less... careful. We sometimes get approached by Indian and Chinese manufacturers who tell us they can...

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A Nod to the USPS

Posted by Laurence Bertone on

I've been meaning to blog about the United States Postal Service (USPS) for some time now, and I just heard that the Canadian postal service (Canada Post) has decided to phase out home delivery over the next few years, so now seems like a good time to actually sit down and do it. An Internet retail business like ours is incredibly dependent on the availability of reliable, fast, affordable shipping services.  When we started the business we looked at the available options, and we chose to focus on the USPS mainly because their prices were lower than the alternative carriers'...

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A Simple Question of Color

Posted by Laurence Bertone on

We recently got an interesting question from a prospective customer. She wanted to know if a certain red tablecloth was more on the “blue” side of red or more on the “orange” side of red. Seems like a simple enough question, and indeed it is. But the real answer is actually very complicated (and hopefully somewhat interesting as well). In our everyday lives we all tend to think that a certain thing is a certain color – period, full stop, ‘nuff said. But in actual fact, a certain thing is only a certain color in a certain kind of light....

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