Monday, 11 July 2011

Doily day

My Granny loved to crochet doilies and I'm sure she'd be pleased to know that I still use several of her pretty creations around the house. Every so often I gather them together for washing.

Today was a 'gathering doily for washing day'. But before I had chance to wash them some little rascals from the playroom decided doilies would make excellent veils for brides and so began a game of 'let's pretend to be brides' .

Two brides collected flowers for wedding bouquets . . . . .

. . . . . and then everyone posed for a group photo.

Fun over. . . It was time to get those doilies clean.

One of the brides fetched the soap.

and two more brides laundered the doilies and hung them on the line to dry

The group of vintage doilies below (one large and two small) are sometimes referred to as a 'Duchess set'. Last July I wrote a post about doilies and asked if anyone knew why they had been given this name as I'd never been able to find a reason for it. Sadly no one came up with the answer.

Then amazingly, Karen from Queensland in Australia visited my blog last week. Whilst reading posts from 2010 she noticed my question about Duchess sets and was good enough to leave a comment. She said she sometimes hears of a dressing table being referred to as a Duchess. This prompted me to do a Google search for Duchess dressing table and guess what? . . . I found loads of Victorian and Edwardian dressing tables in the style shown below and the name they all had was 'Duchess'. Three doilies (one large and two small) would fit perfectly and so I have to conclude that this style of dressing table must be the reason for the name. My thanks go to Karen for taking the time to leave a comment and answer my question.

By the 1940s the style of dressing tables had changed (see below) but three doilies were still essential. The name 'Duchess set' was still used but more often the doilies were know as a 'cheval set' due to the long cheval mirror in the centre.

If, like me, you have a passion for knitting, sewing, dolls and doilies then I think you'd enjoy visiting Smilerynker. This is a wonderfully colourful Danish blog with beautiful dolls, some clever ideas for the use of doilies and lots of family fun.

I hope the sun is shining for you in your part of the world. If so then maybe you also have some little helpers who will enjoy assisting you with the laundry!!

Until next time