Vintage Toweling Table Runners

I’ve been working hard trying to re-organize and stock my Etsy shop…which will explain why I’m so behind on email and visiting blogs! When I closed my shop over the holidays I may not have been officially open, but I was working behind the scenes doing my favorite thing.

Shopping. I spent hours online looking for vintage fabric that I could re-purpose into textile furnishings for your home…and it was oh so fun. I had very good luck finding vintage linen/cotton toweling.

Vintage Toweling Ruffled RunneToweling was sold in rolls to make, you guessed it, towels. Housewives from about 1900 – 1960 bought the rolls, cut it and hemmed it to make their kitchen towels.

Vintage Toweling Flat RunnerIt runs in width from about 15 in. to sometimes as wide as 20 – 22 inches. It’s hard to find long pieces though and if found, they are usually pretty pricey. I try to find pieces at least 3 yards long. I can get a generously sized ruffled runner from 3 yards. When there is less I usually leave the ruffle off like the flat runner pictured above.

Vintage Toweling Ruffled RunnerVintage toweling is usually colorful and almost always involves stripes. Occasionally a floral piece appears but not very often. Moda makes reproduction floral and striped toweling that’s reasonably priced and looks very much like the real thing.

Vintage Fabric Pillow CoverI had enough of this wonderful blue plaid toweling to make a runner and a matching pillow cover. I backed it with some vintage white matelasse from an old coverlet I found on eBay.

All of the items pictured are available in the Vintage One of a Kind section of my Etsy shop. Just click on the picture to see the listing. I’m trying to add new things a couple of times a week. I didn’t make it this week (did this week go fast or what?) but hope to have new listings by Monday.

I have some news to share too. I am joining the Creative Team over at Positively Splendid. I am trying to spread my wings a bit…which isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. Amy’s blog is a happy and fun place where I will be sharing brand new recipes once a month. I hope you will follow me over there when it’s my turn to post. I’ll definitely need your moral support! Here we are if you want to learn more about the other contributors.

Positively Splendid Creative Team

A very light, gentle snow is falling as I write this. I don’t think we are supposed to get much…just enough to make things white and beautiful. Enjoy your weekend!


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Thoughts from my friends...

  1. June G says

    Ann…the toweling is so beautiful! So happy for you and your new “venture”…you have my support! You were so generous and encouraging to me in an email several months ago, when I expressed interest in starting my own shop to you.

  2. says

    Hi Ann, I vaguely remember seeing rolls of towelling, I am thinking that it was in the 80’s or 90’s here in Canada. I’m not too sure of the year, how I wish I had purchased a roll with red stripes on it and kept it.
    Your products are always top-notch and so unique.
    Good for you, you keep spreading your wings, girl and who knows where you will end up. It’ll be someplace good, that’s for certain.
    Hugs, Cindy

  3. says

    Hi Ann, I love these gorgeous vintage looking runners. You found some really pretty fabric! I’ll be looking for one for my dining room table.

    Ann, Positively Splendid picked the perfect person for their team! Looking forward to your recipes!

  4. says

    Hi Anne, you found some really pretty fabrics. You always make the most beautiful things. I hope to get my shop running again after I get some of these big projects done around my home. You’re a great inspiration.

  5. Donnamae says

    Love those towels, so pretty! Good luck with your new adventure….I’m always in your corner, rooting for you…you are inspiring! ;)

  6. says

    Ann, I love these towels! The stripes in the first one really caught my eye. You are so incredibly talented and it’s always fun to see what you’ve created.

    I’m happy for your new venture! Will look forward to checking all the bloggers.


  7. says

    The runners are beautiful. In the area I grew up in there were towel holders made with two rollers placed about 2 feet apart and they hung on the wall. We would buy the toweling and mother would sew it so that it just fit over those rollers. It was put by the “washing up” sink in the back entry room. You washed your hands and then wiped them on the towel. The next person would pull the toweling down a bit for a dry spot to wipe his hands on. After a day or so it was slipped off to be laundered and a replacement put on. I can remember my mother tsk-tsking because her sister-in-law -my one Aunt- didn’t change hers as often as she should have. Great post here today- xo Diana

  8. says

    Ann, love the new runners! If I ever run across some toweling, I’ll let you know! It snowed in SC today, but the ground is so warm that it melted quickly! We don’t see much snow here so we get pretty excited about it! Congrats on joining the Positively Splendid team.

  9. says

    Hi Ann,
    My great aunt Harriett bought her toweling and stitched the ends of a 2 yd piece together in a French seam. She had a wide wooden rod with two brackets behind the kitchen door much like a toilet paper holder. The towel hung there and you simply pulled a new area down to dry your hands. It air dried nicely and a new one went up on washday each week.

    Your vintage linens are wonderful treasures.

  10. says

    Congratulations again Ann! It seems I always saying that because you are moving up in the blogging world so quickly. I think the pretty blue fabrics you are using might just be my very favorite. Don’t know how you accomplish so much but keep going because you are creating some beautiful things. Shannon