Posts Tagged ‘chenille’

What are my vintage linens and quilts and tablecloths worth?

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

 

Linens is a generic term for quilts, tablecloths, doilies, lace, tea towels, etc. Anything made of cloth! Perhaps you have some passed down to you from a family member or you have found some at a thrift shop or yard sale. This is my favorite category to sell in on eBay because I love the feel of the old fabrics. I find a lot of “linens” at estate sales because women were very proud of their table settings and bedroom items in times past. OK, we still are, but it was very special to have a handmade quilt or embroidered tablecloth and you just didn’t get rid of that sort of thing.

 

vintage tablecloth

vintage tablecloth

 

  When I bid on these items at estate auctions, I can usually get them for a very reasonable price (with the exception of a nice quilt!). The reason is that they don’t display very well at an auction (they might just look like old rags) and people are thinking (especially men!) that they don’t want to wash and iron it and take the chance of it having holes or stains. I can usually pick up a box of doilies for 1-2$ and a tablecloth for 2-4$. There could be a lot of waste though with torn and badly stained items but there are also the great treasures and that is what I buy for!

My favorites are the printed tablecloths from the 1950s. They can have such a variety of bold flowers and scenery and fruit and geometric designs or animals printed on them. AND the stains are usually easily removed on the white backgrounds. There are even good brand names like Startex and Vera and Wilendur.

Their value depends on the condition and the style and the amount of handwork on the piece. Here are some recent examples from eBay(not mysales):

vintage printed tablecloth with chefs and cooks: sold for 76.00

vintage triangle quilt: sold for 386.99

black americana vintage tea towel sold for 36.99

Most of this info is easily found by searching completed auctions on eBay and sorting them from highest to lowest price.

chenille bedspread I sold

chenille bedspread I sold

Another great tool that I use for more detailed pricing information is Hammertap (see sidebar!). This is an eBay marketing tool that gives you all kinds of crazy stats on products, categories, and sellers. Here is what I found:

(Info was sorted for June 4-Oct. 4, 2009)

All categories listed were subcategories of the “collectibles” category (not home and garden).

1. Lace, crochet, and doilies: has a 32% sell-through rate (sell-through means that is the percentage of items that actually sold in the time period) and an average sell price of 10.24. Highest price was for a lot of 53 crocheted doilies that sold for 19.99.

2. quilts: 51 % sell-through rate, average sell price of 42.46. Highest price was for an antique 1930’s Dresden plate quilt with feedsack fabric that sold for 338.00

3. tablecloths: 50% sell-through rate, average sell price of 19.32. Highest price was for a WWII silk shawl tablecloth in brocade that sold for 311.00.

4. sheets and pillowcases: 55% sell-through rate, average sell price of 15.21. Highest price was for a vintage bedsheet with pink embroidery and crocheted lace that sold for 262.77

 Hammertap (see sidebar!) stats give a very realistic picture of the marketplace and what you can expect to sell an item for and if it is worth your while to sell in a specific category. I sell LOTS of linens and have an overall sell-through rate of 65%. (anything over 50% is supposed to be very good!)

Some of my recent linen sales:

Christmas vintage printed tablecloth: sold for 5.00 (someone got a great deal) although it did have a repaired hole and one stain!

 

click on the photo to view the auction

click on the photo to view the auction

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

morgan jones popcorn chenille bedspread: sold for 30.99 even though it was faded (the brand name helped sell this one!)

click to view cheninlle auction

click to view chenille auction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Log cabin vintage quilt: sold for 19.38. This is what you call a “cutter” quilt because it is not in very good condition but it can be “cut apart” for other projects. I was happy with the price since I bought the quilt for 4.00.

a cutter log cabin quilt

a "cutter" log cabin quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right now I have a few quilts that I need to clean and a pile of about 5 that I need to list. I also have some nice crocheted afghans that can sometimes be big losers but I hope I picked the good ones—we’ll see! Follow my auctions at everythingvintagesteph.com. And if you love STATS check out HAMMERTAP!

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