In Austria, this was a common practice among the “well-heeled” to have all of their linens embroidered until expectations for pay advanced to the point that even the ultrarich couldn’t afford it anymore. Very often, that embroidery graced the luxury goods of The Swabian Maiden (Schwäbische Jungfrau), a household name known in Austria since 1720 for high-quality table and bed linen. Working together with German designer Sebastian Herkner, the linen company devised a far less time-consuming and labor-intensive way of marking linens that utilizes a modern but none-too-recent invention: the electric steam iron.
Presented in an installation at Vienna Design Week 2013, Herkner’s custom-made letterpress blocks, called “IMPRINT,” are used in conjunction with an iron to create a unique raised monogram. The look is subtle and comes out at the next wash. It’s a useful invention for or maybe those who like to have their name repeatedly impressed into linen in a Sisyphean manner – or maybe just those who rent linens. Guests’ names could also be temporarily imprinted into linens for a personal touch.