I went shopping for furniture and tablecloths happened instead.


I wasn’t looking for tablecloths, honest!

Janeray and I sold so much furniture at September’s Vintage Bazaar that I went to the flea market at a bracing 6 a.m. to see what I could scare up to replenish our meager remaining stock.

You gotta go early to get the good stuff. I’ve seen customers there before daylight, shining their flashlights into dealers’ vans as the poor guys are trying to unload in the darkness!

Alas, I wasn’t quite early enough for a piece I would have snapped up in heartbeat—a vintage wood desk with a single drawer, a big old glass knob, and a black painted finish that just needed a little polishing. The lady standing right in front of me snagged it for under ten bucks. Darn!

You win some, you lose some.

So I lost on furniture this time, but boy did I ever win it big on tablecloths!

A whole bunch of dealers had piles of vintage linens that they seemed willing to practically give away. The reason probably is that almost all of them have stains small or large. If a dealer doesn’t specialize in linens, she usually doesn’t want to be bothered trying to get stained ones back to pristine shape.

I don’t exactly specialize in linens, but I do love them, and I consider stains a professional laundry challenge, so . . . .

Here’s what I came home with!


A card-table size Florida souvenir cloth. I love those blue . . . coconuts? giant dates? in the trees.


A linen towel with thick satin-stitch embroidery. Not the most delicate work, perhaps, but the colors are pleasing.


A cute cotton farm tablecloth with veggies and chickens and square-dancing couples.


Cheerful pink daisies! Maybe this is a Wilendur? There’s no tag.

french towel

A linen towel with a great print and a recipe for bouillabaisse. Mmmmm, giant lobsters and crabs! And wine!


A huge Wilendur with red roses, and EIGHT matching napkins!


Another huge (63 inches by 90 inches!) Wilendur, this time with green ivy. It’s got the original label still stapled on!


Yes, another Wilendur with red roses. I got two, from different dealers.


A linen Christmas cloth with a festive print that makes a big impact in only four colors: white, red, black, and metallic gold.


A floral linen tablecloth in very ’60s colors.


You could consider this the boring  one of the bunch: white linen with yellow woven stripes along the long edges. Let’s call it . . . tasteful. When you need to impress the in-laws or the boss, this is the tablecloth you’ll probably pull out of the stack.


And the last one: a bold rayon plaid. I’m not sure this one is actually vintage but I liked the colors.

What do you think of my finds?

And how long do you think it’ll take me to get them all laundered and ironed?!

Oh, and hello there Nancy the Linens Lady! This little stack of tablecloths is nothing compared to the amazing things Nancy has. Go check her out! I missed you this time at the flea market, Nancy. I’ll catch up with you next time!

6 Comments on “I went shopping for furniture and tablecloths happened instead.”

  1. janeray says:

    Wowza! Okay, you win! 🙂 Love the ivy (which I could never use cause it’s got a tag…) and the red plaid!

  2. The Linens Lady says:

    oh I’m jealous!

    • luray says:

      Nancy, I’m hoping to get to the Vintage Bazaar in November to see what’s new on your racks!

  3. luray says:

    The ivy one actually has the worst stains—-looks like a corner got wet. So I’ll need to take the label off anyway to soak it.

  4. Danielle says:

    Love your linens. Those are the things I always look for too. I was lucky with tablecloths this weekend too. I found a few but not as many as you did. The pink daisies are pretty.