Thrift score: Vintage tablecloths
I love old stuff. All of it.
There are certain vintage items I’m always on the lookout for every time I go thrifting: unique jewelry, souvenir cups and plates from Michigan or Detroit (my home state and town), handbags and linens, specifically napkins and tablecloths.
I am a hardcore barkcloth junkie — the crazier the print the better. Oilcloth is a favorite too, so much so that I bought a reproduction print and covered my kitchen chairs in a red strawberry pattern.
I turned vintage, tags-on Irish linen pillowcases I picked up at Metrolina into cafe curtains in my first house in Plaza-Midwood, and I’m still bitter about having to leave them behind as part of the sale. Sigh.
But my real linen obsession comes alive for vintage tablecloths. I don’t know what it is about the fruity, faded prints or the kitschy illustrations, but I must have them. I love the history that you can infer from their often worn, threadbare look.
I don’t know about your family, but tablecloths are not a daily occurrence at Chez Sutherland. Given the state of most of my vintage tablecloths, that wasn’t always the case. My personal favorites, including the poinsettia-dotted cloth I picked up in Michigan last year, are the ones that are patched and even a little stained from so much use.
I do my best to make use of my stash. Once the tablecloths are pressed, it’s easy to hide the signs of wear with a few strategically placed serving dishes.
What is on your thrifting lookout list?