I am a fan of the old textile companies which flourished in the the north west of England on the back of the Lancashire cotton mills.
Lots of pieces from the mid 1800s to late 1930’s are still around and in very good and usable condition. I have just picked up a thick white cotton sheet with a decorative double hem from one of my favourite hunting grounds, a charity shop in what was once a very posh village on the outskirts of Birmingham.
The fact that it is conveniently down the road from my daughter’s house means that I can be found in there rummaging at least once a week!
This week’s trip yielded this Dorma sheet. Dorma are a textile company started by two brothers who started weaving cotton in 1841 and later set up the Dorma bed linen company in 1920. In the 20thc Dorma were one of the first companies to produce printed bed linens in the UK.
Although my working class Lancashire family did not work in the mills (my mother retained the aspirations of grandeur from her wealthy middle class Welsh relations) I grew up in a terraced house in a steep cobbled street in darkest Blackburn, and it was dark, thanks to the mills and other smoke producing industry in our part of East Lancs. My honorary aunt Rosie and uncle Fred did work in the mills and in the case of Rosie, was as deaf as a post from a lifetime spent shouting over the weaving looms. Any extended conversation with her resulted in a sore throat!
This sheet would have been one of the earliest produced by Dorma and is still in fantastic condition with years of wear still left. I have a couple of other vintage pieces, including a pair of long discontinued cotton curtains by this company which are to be modified for the cave in France.
Lurking close to the sheet I found this pair of vintage Laura Ashley pillowcases with bows to tie on the back and an array of white work- ladder work, bridge work etc.
I may well do a post dedicated to white work (needlework in white on white fabric) soon