Yeah, I dismissed family traditions and found myself without any Madeira tablecloths. Maybe because I had not married? My mother still had two or three of these cloths in her possession at the time of her death. They went to my older sister who had always been a leading member of the Madeira Linen Fan Club. If such a thing ever existed.
I became interested
I started out with boring. Er, simple. Below are two photos of a non-Madeira. Yeah, I kinda lived in a non-creative world. This is a lovely 48x48" square linen with concentric squares. This work is known as Drawn Work. I purchased this from the UK and it is purported to be from someones holiday in Scotland. I dunno. Like the idea of a holiday, so, I now had my first linen.
For me, the natural starting position of any acquisition is my beloved EBay. I stared out in October 2008 as I began to search under "linen tablecloths" to do my investigating and some purchasing.
I purchased a few other cloths and began, whoo hoo, my "collection". At Christmas, I showed my brand new little-bitty collection to my older sister. She was under impressed with my selection. I think she got a kick out of seeing me get started on this path.
What I quickly did was RESEARCH. I read up on linen fibers and linen care. I purchased some of the wonderful RESTORATION cleaner for vintage linens. I helped my sister reclaim some old linens she had inherited. And yes, we soaked out 40 year old gravy, cranberry and wine stains from the old tablecloths she inherited.
It was like going to Confession and being Forgiven!