There is quite possibly no finer way to dress the table for Christmas than with elegant embroidered linens by Noël Linge de Maison Brodé. Set on a tree-lined corner of Paris’s smart 16th arrondissement, this 135-year-old French stalwart is an embroidery specialist with an extraordinary pedigree: it has created linens for French presidents – its iconic Lys et Chardons or “thistle” pattern still graces the tables at the Palais de l’Elysée – and British royalty. In the 1940s the maison produced the cradle linens for Prince Charles, embellished with the royal coat of arms, while today’s clients range from fêted interior designers such as Jacques Grange and Peter Marino to French socialite Mouna Ayoub, who ordered Noël creations for every room of her 75m sailing yacht Phocéa.
“I love that people still appreciate a luxurious table setting in these hectic times,” says Adeline Dieudonné, who acquired the brand in 1992, relocating it from its original home near the Luxembourg Gardens to a spacious spot between Trocadéro and the bustling Place Charles de Gaulle. “Eating at a table with embroidered linens is like drinking fine wine from a crystal glass with just the right proportions,” she continues. “You wouldn’t sip Château Pétrus out of a paper cup; it just wouldn’t taste right. It’s the same with food. The setting is key to a delicious meal. Beautiful linens set the tone.”
These might be entirely hand‑stitched cotton-organdie or linen-batiste tablecloths (from €5,000) or sets of matching placemats and napkins (from €200), all embellished with vibrantly coloured embroideries – from regal bees to luscious bunches of grapes – from an archive of over 13,000 designs, using Alsace-made thread. “We are constantly creating new patterns – ones inspired by art deco, for example – and realising our clients’ wishes for specific motifs,” adds Dieudonné, who takes pride in creating imagery that is as lifelike and true to scale as possible.
Sheets (from €3,000) in sateen and Swiss cotton voile and chic hand towels (€100) can also be embroidered to order for an additional fee in a process likened to haute couture, and while the myriad designs can be browsed in store in cloth-bound books, the intricate craftmanship is completed at a “secret” location. “Hand-embroidery needs to be perfect,” says Dieudonné. “The placement of the design on the linen, the proportions, the colours need to be juste comme il faut.”
This is no less the case with off-the-peg, machine-embroidered options, such as sheets (sets from €3,190) and bath towels (from €140), which are chicly stacked on the shop’s shelves. The “prêt-a-porter” placemats, for example, are embroidered with coral (€128) or pebbles (€110), while, as the shop’s name implies, seasonal versions are also available bedecked with Christmas trees and holly (placemats, €110; napkins, €38). Baby sleepsuits (€90) with playful animal embroidery, passementerie hangers (€37 each) to match one’s linens and lucite platters (€160) featuring pressed linens embroidered with butterflies and insects add extra gift-giving zest.