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The Book of Fine Linen Hardcover – October 18, 2011

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

About the Author

Francoise de Bonneville is a journalist specializing in the decorative arts and the author of a monograph on the celebrated goldsmith Jean Puiforcat. Marc Porthault continues the tradition of a family business founded in 1925 whose name is synonymous with the finest of linens.
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Product Details

  • Series: Book Of...
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (April 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080135570
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080135575
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.1 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #660,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book, written with a forward by the Porthaults (who better to comment on fine linens?), is wonderful and I highly recommend it, price notwithstanding. This book is translated from the French and inlcudes: a history of linens, from chintz to damask; a glossary of embroidery stitches and styles with notations of illustrations throughout the book; and photographs of the finest linens in the world (including many made by the Porthaults). This book is very large and would make such a lovely gift for anyone who collects linens or who does fine embroidery.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By sherri j. thorne on August 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This seductive book is more than an excellent history of fine linen. It is a sensuous and seductively, elegant book! The author, Francoise de Bonneville give the reader more than a lesson on the history of textiles. She presents us with some of the most extrodinary examples of bed linens, tablecloths and napkins. Apart from the excellent section on the social history and care of fine linen, she presents detailed information about the various types of linens used, fibers, color, and weaves. The must sumptous commissions were the set of bedsheets created for American Heiress Barbara Hutton. These pink sheets were made out of silk and trimmed with point de Paris lace, fouteeen inches wide, Which was made by d'Porthault & Co. Examples of the two major Italian linen firms, Frette and Pratesi are also well represented. I agree with my fellow reviewer. This is an excellent gift for a bride; but don't be surprised to learn that men would be just as likely to buy this book as women. It is worth every Dollar!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book, translated from the French, is beautifully beguiling in its phrasing. Relates the history and techniques of the production and embroidery of exquisite linens. Photographs are handsome and even the dust cover is worth framing. Makes a great reference book as well as entertaining reading. One of my all time favorites
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grrly1 on June 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love, love, love the feel of fine linen. I was eager to begin reading this book in anticipation of lavish illustrations of sumptuous linen from decades past. Instead, the book spends a lot of time discussing the evolution of the fabric itself: from plant, to loom, to bed or plant to table. The author uses prints of advertising cards, paintings, etc...to illustrate weaving techniques, marketing, etc... of different types of fabrics since their creation presumptively because no examples exist (not sure?). The photographs that are included are very nicely done. Would have rather seen more photographs of textiles/linen than copies of handbills, ads, paintings, and sketches. Contact information for the linen houses that were discussed and that are still in existence would have also been a plus.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Knutson on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Linen was once an elegant showing of a family's wealth. This book is filled with the history of linen. It is throughly documented with detailed indices. Translated from French, the details provided and pictures are glorious. Turning the pages is a true historical lesson in how linen was created, embellished, and used during times past. The use of lace and embroidery is stunning. I marvel at the complexity of the designs and when I sit with my needle and thread under a magnifying glass and high powered lamp I am in awe of the early needleworkers toiling away without the assistance of these tools. The book soothes me and transports me to another time. This is one of my favorite books in my personal library.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Newmie the cat on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
..and not only beautiful but very useful as well. I've yet to find another one about linens so well written and packed with information. I'd like to learn more about fabrics, but the books I've purchased after this has been pretty disappointing because very little they mentioned is not in this book.

The Book of Fine Linen covers a wide selection of fabrics made of linen, cotton, silk. And emelishments: weaving, embroidery, print. The author explaines how these fabrics had been used throughout history and how they evolved.
The picures and paintings in the book are very relevant illustration of the text, but they are also a visual feast to the eye, they are gorgeous. It is a delight just to flip through the book and it would be great on the coffee table or as a gift.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mariette Vedder on August 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This high quality hard cover book on glossy paper is such a treasure to be had. In a downward economy we should be looking again at reviving those linen pieces that got passed down from grandmère (this book is originally being translated from French) or grandmother. It will instill the passion for fine linens and also does explain about its high quality to those not yet familiar with it. Fine linens are always worth investing in, as they will last and last. They are certainly more eco friendly than all the throwaway linen. It adds to the quality of life, to the 'Charme D'Antan' to our much needed romance in a hectic life.
I only can recommend this; also to brides to be. As of yesterday, I did read at Gracious Style blog [...] about the Top Ten Wedding Gifts, that Quality sheets ranked # 3 and Fine table linens ranked # 6.
There is hope for our future!

Mariette's Back to Basics
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