I have always been fascinated on my travels around the French ‘brocante’ sales, by the finesse of rural French embroidered garments. The fine cotton embroidery belies the tough rural lifestyle of the early twentieth century. Beneath those hard wearing outer clothes must have been these delicately embroidered camisoles, knickers and chemises, embroidered for a trousseau or by a dedicated mother. A glimpse of these delicately stitched garments would have surely been titillating to a country lad.

Who would nowadays think to spend hours embroidering a monogram onto a thick linen nightdress? The fascination for all things vintage has taken us by storm, but these delicacies have often fallen by the wayside in favour of the film star inspired garments of the 1950’s and 60’s. Let’s look underneath those coarse outer garments and see the delights hidden beneath!

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Embroidered cotton knickers

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handmade lace trimmed camisole

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delicately embroidered fragment of a fine cotton camisole