Monday, January 22, 2007

Fabulous fabrics

My parents and my brother all have antique shops so antique fairs and house sales were an important part of my childhood.

For as long as I can remember I have loved and collected fabrics, hats, buttons, buckles lace and thread - until fairly recently I had a ridiculously large collection of vintage costumes (Now I have a Citroen H-van).

What has always attracted me to vintage fabrics is the quality, the high thread count, the beautiful screen printing. When I began to make the textile range I used a lot of vintage fabrics but as the business has grown the need for continuity, the difficulty of finding mint vintage fabrics in any size and then the difficulty in actually making myself cut them up all caused problems. This led me to move mainly onto using high end furnishing fabrics - particularly linens - which have the same high printing standards without the worry about material suddenly shredding.

Today I am making up things in this beautiful Sanderson linen which has painterly parrot tulips all over it- I love bold things, figurative designs which move beyond the edge of the notebook or bag. It is beautiful to sew and is a lovely weight - good body but a bit slouchy (now this sounds like a personal ad!) so that it still looks like a fabric and not like cardboard.


carolyn said...

The print looks beautiful and your right about Sanderson fabric it is lovely to work with.

Nonnie said...

You're definitely right about using the higher quality fabrics. So much nicer to sew with. That parrott tulip design is lovely.

Heather said...

I have a box of fabrics - not vintage necessarily - but just prints and feel that I really love. I can never bring myself though to do anything with them - cutting them up seems sad and I never think what I'm doing warrents using them up.

Seems a bit squirrely but I can't imagine using them.


Jane said...

It is a problem isn't it? I have some really beautiful silk devoree velvets from the 1920s - they would look wonderful as scarves - but that would involve cutting them up and I just can't do it so they are in a drawer.
That was also why I got rid of most of my costumes - I didn't want to display them as the light would have damaged them and my parents didn't want to give over all spare wardrobes and cupboards to them indefinately.
I bought a fabulous piece of 1930s material with circus animals on it - supposedly to make curtains for Katie - but I can see now that she will outgrow it within a couple of years so I now deemed that a waste of good material and it has joined the velvets in my drawers.
I can see that it will probably stay there until I am in my dotage and bring it out to make something for great grandchildren.