Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hearts and flowers and flannel

We always knew what was inside the wrappings of packages from Grandma: books and aprons and items of flannel (or sometimes of cotton). The books also came at birthdays and on other occasions. The aprons had bibs and were sewn for man, woman, and child. All wore them during preparations for mealtimes, during meals, and when cleaning up afterwards. Adults didn't wear night-garb; kids did. It was flannel in the winter and lawn in the summer, all hand-sewn. She also made us flannel cowboy shirts with pearl-snap buttons. I was reminded of all this by reading that a founder of Lanz, Werner G. Scharff, just died. It was only upon leaving home that I knew about boughten nightwear. Lanz was popular in certain circles. Some obituaries speak of "granny gowns," but Lanz produced more than those. I once saw a very beautiful dress and found that it was Lanz. It had a white pique top with vertical darts front and back plus the usual front darts; the dirndl skirt was a heavy cotton, black printed with small white sprigs; at the waist was giant red rick-rack. This was a dress fit to go nearly anywhere. As to flannel, people often deride it, but people never feel better than they do through flannel, unless sometimes it's through a knit tee-shirt! Warning: YMMV.


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