Let’s talk about “diapering.” No, I’m not talking about a baby’s butt, but diapering as it applies to Damask Linens. Diapering is derived from the French term diaspre, (bed of flowers) and means to adorn or bejewel. Vintage Damask linens were used to “diaper” walls, windows, tables and bedchambers. When used in a fashion sense, ladies of the French and English court were said to have had their bed chambers “diapered” with fine Damask linens. And (I’m speculating here) probably someone “bejeweled” a baby’s butt with a piece of Damask linen and a whole new use for the term “diapering” was coined.
From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, most damasks linens were woven in a single color, with a glossy warp-faced satin pattern against a duller ground. Two-color damasks had contrasting color warps (fatter thread) and wefts, (thinner thread.) Polychrome damask is often gold or other metallic threads or additional colors as supplemental brocading wefts. Medieval damasks were usually woven in silk, but wool and linen damasks can also be found. (Thank you Wikipedia)
Today’s Damask is usually a single-color produced from silk, linen or linen-type synthetic fabrics. Damask weaves appear most commonly in table linens, but also in clothing and furnishings. Many repurposers take a Damask tablecloth and repurpose it to beautiful Damask evening dresses. For a wide variety of Vintage Damask linen, visit our vintage linen and lace store in The Treasure Shop. Space B4. We are exclusive linens and lace, and we’ve been in the same location for many years. Repeat customers come from all over Colorado to “pick” our finds. If you have never been there, we invite you to try us. Let us know what you are looking for. Send me an e-mail. If we don’t have it (yet), we may know where we can get it.
7 thoughts on “Diapering with Damask”
Lovely interesting and informative blog, thank you.
Thank you. I am so happy people enjoyed this post. I had a ball playing with the words.
Great post. I’ve been saving a torn damask tablecloth to make a blouse this summer. Good to know I’m in fine company!
Good idea. I’m looking for a pattern for some of our “well used” not-for-sale ones so I can make a 50’s style bib apron with ruffles on it. I think it would be pretty. Anyone know of a pattern – please let me know.
Vogue has one of the best… http://voguepatterns.mccall.com/v8643-products-10785.php?page_id=174
BTW, when I’m not tortilla running, I’m a seamstress. Have been for over 30 years, and play in the SCA too.
salutations from over the sea. interesting blog I must return for more.
Do you have suggestions for repurposing the matching napkins?