I tend to avoid making design declarations, but I do think that no linen closet is complete without some type of embroidered linen. It doesn't have to be anything fancy nor complicated. It could be a pair of linen hand towels with an embroidered monogram, either your own or, if antique, someone else's. Or, perhaps cocktail linens with an embroidered motif. But to have, say, custom embroidered table linen that was designed to complement your formal china, well, that is truly a luxury.
Fortunately in this country, we have Léron, a New York based linen shop that was founded in 1910. Still owned by the same family (the Forsters), Léron sells the most marvelous embroidered linen. I could go on and on because I do adore their linen, but seeing that I've written a lengthy post about them in the past, I'll encourage you to click here to revisit Léron.
Now, in Paris, Malbranche at 17 rue Drouot is where I would go for custom embroidered linen. In business since 1860, the company not only designs and embroiders table and bed linen, but they also teach the art of embroidery to students. In fact, one of my Paris readers has studied at Malbranche for seven years. Can you imagine being able to study embroidery? I'm going to add that to the list of things I want to do "someday". But in the meantime, I think that for me, purchasing embroidered linen is the way to go.
Finding photos of Malbranche's work is a little difficult, so I had to pull images from all over the web. (You'll have to forgive the poor quality of most of the photos.) I do know, though, that the "W" pillows above- as seen in the Walter Lees bedroom at Givenchy's Clos Fiorentina- were embroidered by Malbranche. It makes me wonder if Lees' napkins with Les Invalides embroidered on them might have been by Malbranche. Anyway, I think that after you see the embroidery below, you too might be planning your next journey to Paris with a little side trip to Malbranche.