Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Local Woman an Expert on the Lost Art of Linens; What Started as a Fun Second Job 18 Years Ago [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Local Woman an Expert on the Lost Art of Linens; What Started as a Fun Second Job 18 Years Ago [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

What started as a fun second job 18 years ago turned into a full- time business nine years later for Bradenton resident Laura Lutz, who consults with collectors and also buys and sells beautiful textiles from bygone days.

She also refreshes and sometimes repairs vintage linens for clients. Laura sells vintage and antique linens at antiques shows, antiques markets and fairs locally, through the Internet and at Sarasota Marche, a retail store in the Gillespie Village area of downtown Sarasota.

Reach Laura Lutz at (941) 704-3250.

Q:What made you concentrate on heritage linens?

A:I found ironing vintage linens to be relaxing and therapeutic. I love taking something stained and wrinkled that no one else wants and transforming it. The process has always been personally rewarding. In the beginning, selling the textiles was a bonus. Now it is a business.Q: What's so interesting to you about vintage linens?

A:The history is fascinating. Also, I admire the amazing workmanship of the handwork that embellishes them. I see them as useful works of art.Q:Is there a substantial market for collectible linens?

A:Definitely. I have many collectors as wonderful customers.Q:What are the most durable textiles in table linens and bed linens?

A:The most durable textile is the one properly cared for and used. Nothing compares to laying your head on a vintage linen pillowcase at the end of a long day.Q:Are monogrammed linens as valuable as those that are not?

A:Monogrammed vintage linens are actually more valuable. Monograms were hand-embroidered, often with heavily padded (layered and raised) embroidery. Fine handwork always adds to the value of any linen.Q:Wha t countries produced the best vintage linens, table and bed?

A:In my opinion, Ireland for the actual linen textile, Portugal (Madeira) and France for exquisite handwork.Q: How do you suggest laundering old linens?

A:Launder vintage linens immediately after use. Treat any stains appropriately first. Cold water on gentle cycle in your washing machine is usually safe. A double rinse cycle to remove any stain removing products is recommended. Air or machine dry on low- medium.Q:What are some ways to get stains out of old linens?

A:Soaking overnight or for several days in plain water can do wonders. It relaxes the fibers to loosen the imbedded stain without being invasive or damaging. Next step (without drying out) can be adding regular laundry detergent and continue soaking. Rinse thoroughly in plain water. Lemon, sunlight, sodium perborate, OxiClean, non-chlorine bleach, bleach, hydrogen peroxide and a vast assortment of commercial stain removers can also be appropriate if used properly. It depends on the stain and the textile.Q:H ow about storing heritage linens?

A:Small pieces should be rolled. Use a 100 percent white cotton towel as the roller. …

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