Old-Fashioned Linens–Worth Selling?

I knew the mystery linen lot I won a few weeks ago would have some items that would be decidedly out of favor with today’s trends and buyers. And it did! While I am thrilled with the scarves in the box, I’m lukewarm about some of the other bits.  Read on…


Crocheted doilies were once commonplace in gentil middle class homes to protect furniture but I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a home that used doilies. Can you? And my box included 10. Gosh, does anyone still buy this type of thing? I checked on Worthpoint and surprisingly there have been lot of doily sales!! Though most were in the under-$20 category I am encouraged that someone is still buying them (I’m guessing for upcycling projects). Alrighty then, I might as well start adding them to my store. Here’s a set of two matching ones that I listed.


Linen and cotton handkerchiefs also fall in the in the old-fashioned category. Back in the day, men and women always had a hanky tucked in a pocket, purse or up a sleeve. Despite their decline in use, I find them charming. One of my favorites in the lot is this linen hanky with the name “Edna” embroidered in the dress!


Quite a few are heirloom bridal hankies with fancy lace, draw-work and embroidery.




There was also a fun 1940s Mickey Mouse Disney hanky.


Of the 40-50 hankies, about 10 are damaged but I will try to sell the rest, singly and in lots.

Fancy Tablecloths

I am fond of using tablecloths at our kitchen table, but my choice runs to sturdy cotton patterned ones that hide the stains and can be thrown in the washer, over and over. Included in my mystery lot was this huge, creamy lace one made of some synthetic. It seems very 1970s to me. Does anyone use these anymore??


And there was an embroidered butterfly tablecloth and matching napkins still in the package with a $100 price sticker. It’s not to my taste but someone might like it.


I found several embroidered dresser scarves (circa 1930-1950) in the box, but all were damaged in some way with stains, holes or yellowing except for this one with lambs. Kinda sweet. I listed it for $19.99.


Well, I guess I will try to sell most of these linens. The lace tablecloth (comes with an unused plastic liner) seems like it will be the hardest one to sell…but who knows…maybe I will be surprised.

Would love to hear what you think!

As always, happy hunting,



  1. I have been selling a lot of vintage linens in the past few months at a booth in an antique mall. But I do price them very inexpensively. Most of them I have purchased in a ‘fill a bag’ sale so I didn’t have a lot of money in my original investment. I typically soak them in a tub full of hot water with a quarter cup of Biz and after a day throw them in the wash on gentle cycle. So much of them had stains and funky smells. After that I line dry and iron on a hot setting and on some I use light spray starch or sizing to make them look good. I also use some to decorate pillow covers. So it’s work but they are a good filler income between the larger pieces.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laura, thanks for sharing this info. about preparing the pieces. This is so helpful. I see these items as the “bread and butter” stuff too. Not worth a lot, but good filler. 🙂 – Karen


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