You don’t have to be outfitting a palace or a yacht to shop at Noël, but almost nowhere else will you find the kind of custom-made embroidered linens that are the final word in luxury.

The elegant, light-drenched shop on the Place d’Iéna, just across from the Musée Guimet, displays a surprisingly modern array of embroidery designs for nearly any item imaginable, from a modest pocket square to a masterpiece tablecloth. In between, there are placemats, bed linens, towels, pillows of all shapes and sizes, throws and a line of sumptuous nightgowns, nightshirts, robes, pajamas and slippers—all in luxury fabrics including crepe de chine, organdy, damask, linen, percale, satin, Egyptian cotton and cotton piqué.

Although some models are available instore, including a large choice of handsome, affordable, and gift-worthy embroidered tee shirts and cosmetic bags, most of the boutique’s business is made-to-order. Customers can choose from over 13,000 designs accumulated during the store’s 129-year history, with lovely motifs: shells, coral and colorful fish; flowers, fruit and leaves; birds and insects; stars and moons; and geometric or decorative shapes from every era.

A small portion of the work is still done by hand, but most is by embroidery loom or hand-guided machine. That’s good news, since a completely hand-embroidered tablecloth in an intricate French motif will run about $15,000. For the same cloth done by machine, you can drop a zero. Still, you’ll probably want to forego the red wine.

Need an affordable baby gift sure to impress? A rectangular box of tiny, sherbet-hued socks, cashmere or merino booties, or a charming bib embroidered with roosters or bunnies are in the $60 range. You might mention that Prince Charles’s baby linen was made here, too.

1 ave Pierre 1er de Serbie, Place d’Iéna, 16th,

Originally published in the December 2012 issue of France Today

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