Sanny’s passion for linen originated in 1985 when she was rummaging through a box of old linen at a textile sorting company.
Among the discarded rags she found a linen damask towel with Jugendstil patterns. Wonderfully designed roses on a towel? It is a well-known fact that Jugendstil is represented in many art forms, including buildings, paintings, furniture and jewellery, Sanny did not expect to find it on something as mundane as a towel. Her interest in linen damask was born in that moment.
As an art historian, cultural entrepreneur, guest curator, writer and speaker, Sanny never gets tired of linen damask.
Passion for giving damask roots
Sanny decided to study and sell linen damask back in 1985. She also began to acquire her own private collection of linen, which is still growing today. Sanny has sold antique linen to museums in the Netherlands and abroad and to collectors. In 1989, she passed her textile retailer’s exams and, starting in 1991, she studied Art History at the University of Leiden, graduating in 1997 with a thesis on linen at Twickel Castle in Delden. Her own business, Sanny de Zoete, Antiek & Design Linen, was officially founded in 1994.
Sanny’s philosophy is:
‘People are happier when they surround themselves with beauty in everyday utensils. In addition, a white linen damask tablecloth creates a peaceful atmosphere at the table.’
Passion for making damask tangible
Because of her passion for antique linen, Sanny realized more and more that the new linen currently on sale is very disappointing compared to the wonderful designs and excellent quality of linen of the past. She started to produce her own collection of new linen on a small scale, inviting artists such as Peter Struycken and Karijn Otjes to design linen for her.
She also acquired the exclusive rights to take the linen damask designed by Chris Lebeau into production again. Her aim is to make beautiful designs in excellent quality linen damask available again. You can see the results on the website, in the webshop and in her shop in Delft.
Passion for damask increases and stress disappears
Health and food
Sanny is amazed to find that her passion for linen never dwindles but that the beauty of the material keeps her enthralled. Her aim is to help people to buy beautiful table linen that suits them. According to Sanny’s philosophy, people are happier when they surround themselves with beauty in everyday objects. Furthermore, white table linen damask creates a calming atmosphere that reduces stress. Moreover, she is convinced that delicious food tastes better in combination with linen damask that is delightful to the eye. In other words, to conclude with an old Dutch poem:
then have your dinner table set
With everything that your guests
enjoy and gives them pleasure
Decorated with flowers and green
with your dishes and finest glasses
And have your best linen damask
taken out of your cupboards.
It is not merely the stomach
that needs to be treated well
So don’t forget that the eye
also needs to be pleased.
Sanny in the media
Verborgen schatten in de linnenkast
Auteur: Lenneke Berkhout
Koester de diepte van damast
21 december 2020
Auteur: Sanny de Zoete
Zo heurt het (niet!)
Adel in Nederland
12 mei 2018
Auteur: John Töpfer
Ode aan het tafellaken
23 oktober 2015
Auteur: Mariëlle Oussoren-Buys
Passion for sharing damask
Guest curator, writer & speaker
Apart from running her business, Sanny de Zoete also works as a guest curator. As the leading expert on antique and design linen in the Netherlands, she has worked on four exhibitions. In addition, Sanny gives fascinating lectures both in her shop and elsewhere. As far as publications are concerned, she has written three books and a large number of articles.
Here you will find videos, self-produced or made by others.