Thursday, March 5, 2009

Vintage Carving Cloth

This is one of my favourite pieces of inherited linens.



A carving cloth.

Labelled so there can be no doubt of it's purpose ...


the cutlery has its own special spots.


Even the edges have been decorated.



I love to imagine the days when this cloth was in use, when Father carved at the head of the table ...

(Edited to add:
It seems that people haven't come across carving cloths before, so I googled and found this from Every Woman's Encylcopaedia:

Therefore, have your damask spotless. A great economy is always to use a carving cloth even for breakfast. These carving cloths need not be elaborate. Just a piece of damask to match the cloth, nicely hemstitched, and a large initial embroidered in one corner, is more suitable than an expensive fancy cloth, and can be easily made at home.

So it seems that the carving cloth is a cloth placed under a serving plate, to protect the tablecloth underneath from spatters and spills. Even at breakfast! "Honey, carve me a hunk of that porridge, will you please?")

For more Vintage Thingies check here.

14 comments:

Elizabeth said...

This is beautiful; but I don't know what a carving cloth is used for. To cover the meat in the middle of carving?

BTW, your URL in Mr. Linky is messed up. You should copy and paste it instead of typing it in. You might want to go back and re-enter.

Fiona said...

Thanks Elizabeth for letting me know about the link. I did cut and paste but it got mixed up with the auto-fill link already there. Then I went to paste in the correct link and Firefox wouldn't let me paste -grrrr so had to type it in and it still didn't work ... eventually I had to link to my blog homepage.
Ah the wonders of technology

Bea said...

Surely they wouldn't carve greasy meat on this lovely cloth? I think I have a tablecloth with a similar design...

CC said...

Fiona.. your cloth is just beautiful. The work on it is wonderful..I wonder, something that pretty..great grief, to use it as a carving cloth. Maybe it was just used to hold the carving knife and fork...I know, I've never seen one. Happy VTT and have a lovely day..
p.s. I'm proud you kept on trying to get here, we would have missed something really pretty had you not tried..:)

Coloradolady said...

This is just lovely. I have never heard of this before, and this is much too pretty to use and mess up.....I have to admit, I thought Carver was the family name...sometimes, I can be so blond.....and I'm a bruenette.

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

this is so pretty.. I never know there is a craving cloth.. but yours are well made and still in condition.. have a great day..

Hill upon Hill said...

Me too, I don't get how they would use such a nice cloth for carving meat. Beautiful, I just think you should pretend that your name is "Carver".

marianedwardsdreamweaver said...

wow..what a beautifully embroidered cloth :)

Miri said...

This is just beautiful...love the embroidery and the finished edge. (Glad I'm getting around late so I now know what a carving cloth is used for...could use one here!)

Susan said...

Too funny, I've been using a carving cloth and didn't know that is what it was called...I just call it a dish towel.

Emily said...

Fiona - It's beautiful!! What a wonderful carving cloth!

ClassyChassy said...

So pretty, and very unique! Thanks for sharing it - never saw one before!

Jan Ely said...

How pretty! I've got nothing to do today-- I think I'll whip up one up! "Just a piece of damask to match the cloth, nicely hemstitched, and a large initial embroidered in one corner"--are you kidding me? I can barely find the motivation to darn a sock!

Roslyn Atwood said...

Never heard of Carver Cloths either, very unusual.
Roslyn