Adverts for Irish Linen

I often come across examples of advertising for Irish Linen from years past. It is interesting to see how the properties of the cloth were presented and how Irish Linen as a "brand" was promoted. Some are really very amusing when looked at from today's standpoint.

This one in particular made me smile. Depicted are the survivors of a shipwreck who have spread out a square of canvas from the sail as a tablecloth and underneath are the words....."The habits of civilisation rise above disaster. The first natural requisite of any meal is a fair white cloth." It goes on to say that true Irish Linen is one of the 'indispensables' of life. So whatever disaster befalls you, standards must not be allowed to slip!! This is an advertisement placed in Life magazine by the Irish Linen Society in the 1920s. Other adverts from the '20s talk of Linen Damask being "impressively correct" and being "the unerring choice of generations of distinguished hostesses". By the 1950s the Irish Linen Guild had been set up and an advert dated June 3, 1953 announces Irish Linen Week from June 15 and pronounces Irish Linen to be the Queen of Fabrics.

Colour had at last made an appearance in advertising, but the linen was still pure white, except for kitchen towels with their distinctive red or green stripes. I have been collecting these for a while now and I think they will look great framed for the walls of my Linen Mill house. How fantastic that this cloth was promoted as a commodity of the highest quality, not unlike how cotton is advertised today.

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