Time was--in a more romantic era in my estimation--when ladies of the household didn't have all the choices that we have in linens today, and they chose to crochet edgings to their pillowcases. These delicate trims added fanciful detail to plain cotton cases. They used approximately 150 yards of a fine mercerized cotton thread to make approximately two yards of edging using a number 7 steel crochet hook. And when they were finished with that project, they might be known to edge their handkerchiefs, baby blankets, or tablecloths!
Here are two examples of the kind of work that was done. One is light and airy and the other a little more full. Either way, I wish I had learned to crochet. I would have done my all bedding with this edging. But then, I tend to like my bedding simple and in a plain color, rather than the sometimes loud, geometric or flowery designs available today! This former era would have suit me just fine!