A valuable object kept in the family for several generations. Many hand worked furnishings are heirlooms, made to  last a lifetime – the very best of which are passed down to the next and even succeeding generations.

* Bedcovers carry special resonance as across culture the  bedquilt  or marriage quilt was an important element of the  trousseau that young girls would painstakingly prepare. Even when very worn and with a low monetary value perhaps, heirlooms carry a meaningful history and  a sense of identity that can’t just be thrown away,  therefore become treasured furnishings and key design statements.

* Textiles are inherently fragile, so it is often occasional or ceremonial pieces such as wedding dresses, ball gowns, christening dresses, ecclesiastical works, royal wear and bed covers that survive, being used less often and in contexts where the right care was taken of them. As might be expected, it is the high quality fabrics–always depending on their use and care–that tend to become museum pieces and heirlooms.

*Inherited furnishings can also be recycled into smaller items:  curtains given new hems and headings; a bedcover into a wall hanging;cushions; bolsters etc.

*Clothes too: a silk dress made into a lampshade, jumpers,  crewel works, tapestries and rugs into  chair seats, stool covers and cushions.

*Vintage textiles can be turned into heirlooms with any damage cut out and repaired, replaced, or cut down and given a new life as curtains, bedcovers and tablecloths.

* Patchworks quilts are often passed down, along with the love and memories that made them; no one wants to see them go as they age and start showing signs of wear and tear, so they are often backed, cut down, trimmed or reassembled into smaller furnishings.



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