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Thread: Can you tell me what this is?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    No picture just a description. I have a vintage linen from my MIL's estate. It is made in France, white cotton muslin tube, 8' long and 16.5" wide. It has cotton eyelet lace on both ends and is open (not sewn shut) on the ends (16.5" sides). I originally thought it was a really long pillow case but NOT. I have no idea what this is but am curious. Any ideas? Ann in TN

  2. #2
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    A scarf? shawl? maybe....

  3. #3
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    Is it a place to store bed pillows in when not in use during the day, or maybe a bed runner? I have some similar that are not tubes from my Italian GM that just laid over the pillows (part of her wedding linens)

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Could it be a bolster cover?

  5. #5
    Senior Member OraLee's Avatar
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    My Grandmother use to have them. She would put a long pillow in it and then tie each end with a ribbon. They lay it on her bed during the day.

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    It's called "traversin". Not sure of the name in English. A long bolster maybe? LOL

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=traver...ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1680&bih=855

  7. #7
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    At home we used them in babies cribs. Put one on each side to prevent
    the baby from getting caught in those bars or just to keep comfy. :)

  8. #8
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird
    No picture just a description. I have a vintage linen from my MIL's estate. It is made in France, white cotton muslin tube, 8' long and 16.5" wide. It has cotton eyelet lace on both ends and is open (not sewn shut) on the ends (16.5" sides). I originally thought it was a really long pillow case but NOT. I have no idea what this is but am curious. Any ideas? Ann in TN
    why do you say it's not a long pillow case------------most likely called a bolster rather than a pillow case.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    I just assumed that because it has no closed end that it was not a pillowcase. Also my pillowcases are quite a bit wider than this. A standard pillow would have to be scrunched up quite a bit to get it in there. I could see it being the item that is tied closed with ribbon. Then it would make some sense but it's long side is still wider than our king sized bed, and I don't think they had king sized beds when this was made. Ann in TN

  10. #10
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    What a neat idea. I think I will make a quilted one for the top of my bed and prop the smaller ones against it. Sound cool!

  11. #11
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I think they were used on bolsters placed on window seats and sofas. The open ended case could be changed and cleaned without the whole pillow/bolster being uncovered. Yes, the bolster had a cover and they were usually tied as previously described, then this case went on over that. Because proper women didn't sit all the way back against the sofa backing, the bolster added some comfort. When not in use it was decorative.

    Jan in VA

  12. #12
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    I have seen in a catalog what looks like a body pillow, but it's long enough to go up the front of the body, around the head and down the back of the body to about the knees. Could it be a case for something like that?

  13. #13
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    I think they were used on bolsters placed on window seats and sofas. The open ended case could be changed and cleaned without the whole pillow/bolster being uncovered. Yes, the bolster had a cover and they were usually tied as previously described, then this case went on over that. Because proper women didn't sit all the way back against the sofa backing, the bolster added some comfort. When not in use it was decorative.

    Jan in VA
    You see this is what happens when a Yankee marries a Southern Boy! They have to be educated. We have been married 43 years now and I am still learning things about "Southerisms" and believe me I have heard the phrase "proper women" more than once. LOL
    I think the first time that was used in my presence was when I told my MIL that I was going to breast feed our first child. She told me "proper women don't say 'breast feed'". So I asked, what do they call it? Her reply "proper women don't discuss such matters"
    Thanks for the information ladies! I have learned something new today. Being as I won't be using any bolsters in the near future I may just cut it in half, seam the ends, and make it into two king sized pillowcases. At least we would get some use out of it that way. Ann in TN

  14. #14
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird
    No picture just a description. I have a vintage linen from my MIL's estate. It is made in France, white cotton muslin tube, 8' long and 16.5" wide. It has cotton eyelet lace on both ends and is open (not sewn shut) on the ends (16.5" sides). I originally thought it was a really long pillow case but NOT. I have no idea what this is but am curious. Any ideas? Ann in TN
    The first time I saw one I thought some forgot to cut it in two for pillow cases, so that's what I did. Realized later my mistake so when I found the second one I knew how to use it. I made a long pillow to go in mine. I place it in front of my pillows on the bed and use it as a decoration.

  15. #15
    Senior Member angiecub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    Could it be a bolster cover?
    This would be my guess too.

  16. #16
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy
    It's called "traversin". Not sure of the name in English. A long bolster maybe? LOL

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=traver...ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1680&bih=855
    Google translates "traversine" to "bolster".
    Now, will someone define "bolster", please?

  17. #17
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    My thought too.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    Could it be a bolster cover?

  18. #18
    Senior Member angiecub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenheron
    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy
    It's called "traversin". Not sure of the name in English. A long bolster maybe? LOL

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=traver...ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1680&bih=855
    Google translates "traversine" to "bolster".
    Now, will someone define "bolster", please?

    Merriamwebster.com defines it as "a long pillow or cushion." I would call it a long pillow that sits widthwise at the head of the bed.

  19. #19
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird
    I just assumed that because it has no closed end that it was not a pillowcase. Also my pillowcases are quite a bit wider than this. A standard pillow would have to be scrunched up quite a bit to get it in there. I could see it being the item that is tied closed with ribbon. Then it would make some sense but it's long side is still wider than our king sized bed, and I don't think they had king sized beds when this was made. Ann in TN
    A bolster is generally 6-8-10" in diameter. And as wide as a bed. It's "pillowcase" is open on both ends, generally.

    Remember when we had corn shuck under mattresses and featherbeds in ticking, the beds were often home made----------and never a uniform size. Besides, you could always tie a bow around the ends of the bolster.

  20. #20
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    I think they were used on bolsters placed on window seats and sofas. The open ended case could be changed and cleaned without the whole pillow/bolster being uncovered. Yes, the bolster had a cover and they were usually tied as previously described, then this case went on over that. Because proper women didn't sit all the way back against the sofa backing, the bolster added some comfort. When not in use it was decorative.

    Jan in VA
    You see this is what happens when a Yankee marries a Southern Boy! They have to be educated. We have been married 43 years now and I am still learning things about "Southerisms" and believe me I have heard the phrase "proper women" more than once. LOL
    I think the first time that was used in my presence was when I told my MIL that I was going to breast feed our first child. She told me "proper women don't say 'breast feed'". So I asked, what do they call it? Her reply "proper women don't discuss such matters"
    Thanks for the information ladies! I have learned something new today. Being as I won't be using any bolsters in the near future I may just cut it in half, seam the ends, and make it into two king sized pillowcases. At least we would get some use out of it that way. Ann in TN
    oh, don't cut it. Buy or make yourself a bolster for your bed.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ncredbird's Avatar
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    [oh, don't cut it. Buy or make yourself a bolster for your bed.]

    Can I stuff it with fabric scraps? I have plenty of those!

  22. #22
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncredbird
    [oh, don't cut it. Buy or make yourself a bolster for your bed.]

    Can I stuff it with fabric scraps? I have plenty of those!
    LOL!!! :D
    I, too, hate disrupting antiquey things by altering them, but so many of the things we worry about -- yes, even some quilts -- actually have little monetary value, mostly just intrinsic value (what it's worth to you personally, memories, etc.). Theredore, since you are unlikely to think of selling it, or turning it in to a museum somewhere, I'd actually say, do remake it for a modern purpose. Sometimes that's more "loving" than neglecting it in a box in storage in the name of "saving" it.

    Jan in VA

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    Could it be a bolster cover?
    yep my first guess....maybe you tied those open ends with ribbon

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltMania
    Could it be a bolster cover?
    I agree.

  25. #25
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy
    It's called "traversin". Not sure of the name in English. A long bolster maybe? LOL

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=traver...ls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1680&bih=855
    my grandmother used these also and they were exactly as described. no ribbon. she draped the ends over the side of the bed and stuffed them with down pillows which really plumped them up. we called them bolsters in english. she called them traversin (she had lived many years in montreal). they're like duvets (covers) for pillows.

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