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Vintage Potholders

Updated on October 7, 2014

Collecting Vintage Potholders

Vintage potholders are useful as well as decorative, but I generally display the older potholders I come across to help them last longer. I'm too messy when I cook to use my nice vintage potholders!

I collect all sort of vintage linens, including potholders. Many older potholders were crocheted or knitted and are truly works of art. Their practical use that they were originally made for is often forgotten. They're just too pretty to use!

This photo shows a few of my vintage potholders on display.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Vintage Potholders - Handmade works of art -- My Collection of Vintage Potholders

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lemon potholder All photos here by Peggy HazelwoodBlue handmade potholderKnitted potholder in creamIntricate crocheted potholderRaised flower crocheted potholderVintage potholder in shades of blueCrocheted potholder with green peeking out under the gold.Crocheted potholder with white and green thread.Vintage potholder crocheted in tan and pink yarn.Pair of vintage potholders with red flowers.
Lemon potholder All photos here by Peggy Hazelwood
Lemon potholder All photos here by Peggy Hazelwood
Blue handmade potholder
Blue handmade potholder
Knitted potholder in cream
Knitted potholder in cream
Intricate crocheted potholder
Intricate crocheted potholder
Raised flower crocheted potholder
Raised flower crocheted potholder
Vintage potholder in shades of blue
Vintage potholder in shades of blue
Crocheted potholder with green peeking out under the gold.
Crocheted potholder with green peeking out under the gold.
Crocheted potholder with white and green thread.
Crocheted potholder with white and green thread.
Vintage potholder crocheted in tan and pink yarn.
Vintage potholder crocheted in tan and pink yarn.
Pair of vintage potholders with red flowers.
Pair of vintage potholders with red flowers.
Pair of vintage potholders in green and white.
Pair of vintage potholders in green and white.

History of the Potholder

The lowly potholder is mostly a utilitarian tool we use when we cook. Many days I use a potholder to get a hot dish or plate from the microwave, not from the oven or stove top. Sadly, my cooking consists of reheating much of the time.

In days past, cooks relied on potholders to remove hot pans from the stove or from an oven that was hard to regulate. Potholders were very important.

Rachel Maines wrote an article for The Journal of Popular Art in 1985. In Evolution of the Potholder, Maines discusses when the potholder might have been used extensively in homes (about two centuries ago). Many potholders that still exist were thin and she writes that "these are so thin and dysfunctional for cooking that they are more likely to have been used in the parlor or dining room than in the kitchen."

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Do You Use Vintage Potholders or Collect Them?

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    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      5 years ago

      My grandma collected vintage potholders! Lots of crochet ones too.

    • MariePalmer LM profile image

      MariePalmer LM 

      6 years ago

      Oh yea, now we are talking. This is my kind of lens!!!! Glad I found it!

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 

      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I have a few, but I do not use them. I usually use one of the potholders my niece made when she was little out of potholder loops. Love those things!

    • profile image

      DeclutterDiary 

      6 years ago

      These are beautiful!!...

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      6 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I remember my mother having similar pot holders.Lovely!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm revisiting to see what's new with your vintage potholders...I adore kitchen potholders like these!

    • Scarlettohairy profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      @evelynsaenz1: Evelyn, I don't but I would imagine useful everyday ones were very simple. Some fancy ones may have been crocheted like some I've shown. I do remember reading that many women from that era died from their dresses and aprons catching fire while cooking. Yikes!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      6 years ago from Royalton

      I need to get some vintage potholders for my Bed and Breakfast. Do you know what potholders looked like in 1840?

    • profile image

      glowchick 

      6 years ago

      I don't collect them but I love all the interesting ones your found :)

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      So cool! I need potholders so bad, maybe I'll get vintage one.. great idea. THUMBS UP and ANGEL BLESSED. whooot whooot!

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I collect a few vintage potholders. I'd love to have one of those bottle cap "bunch of grapes" potholders. Came upon a pattern this summer and plan to crochet one of these vintage style potholders as soon as I can.

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