Friday, April 27, 2007

Fabric indulgences

At the crack of dawn (well, it wasn't but these days I generally work very late - until midnightish, then sleep late) I went off to buy and pick up another large lot of antique and vintage fabric. Four of the French/Hungarian aprons (I'll post later - one is velvet flowers on satin, one is ikat satin brocade with roses, one is like the blue one I posted earlier but in crazy yellow and red, one is also overwoven but in wonderful browns, pinks, blues). They are wonderful - extraordinary pieces really, and I doubt I will have the heart to cut them. Perhaps they could each make an absolutely heirloom kind of cushion? Maybe I will do that with them (which is of course my excuse to hide them away in my own stash and refuse to sell them!) There is also a - gasp - silver damask (silk on cotton or linen, I suspect linen but need to test) tablecloth with six huge napkins. Unused. Perfect. 19th century or anything up to 1920s I'd guess. This puts me in a dilemma. I don't want to cut it. I want to keep it and stroke it (and Lotte, always a cat of taste when it comes to fabric immediately decided it was her bed and had to be moved gently on - against much "I like silver silk damask" resistance). But when do I host dinners grand enough to pull out a vast tablecloth like this? And if I did, would I have to attack with a table-knife anyone who spilt red wine on it. What to do? Not sure. If only it had a whole I would be out with the scissors and making the most ravishing, sensual tarot bags. But it's perfect. No-one has ever used it - even once, it still has fold dust. Well, nice dilemmas to have. This beats worrying about the washing up any day. But talking of washing - I feel more washing line photos coming on. I wash everything by hand in silk-wash and then use aromotherapy conditioner on it. Well, it seems to deserve it. Then out it goes on our terrace - where I have to persuade Banzai that "Let's hang from the exquisite, museum-quality, turn of the century French ikat brocade" is not such a good game. Okay, enough text. You want photos right?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A fabric-hunting we will go...

We've just got a real treasury of antique and vintage fabrics - here are some of them hanging on our line (we usually wash everything, although as some of these had already been dry-cleaned we just hung those up to get fresh). From left to right - gorgeous, sweet and subtle 1930s fabric - hard to see from this photo but will look wonderful with 1930s fairies. Then there is an Art Deco embroidery/cross-stitch. Just gorgeous - and the side panels are actually stitched in bronze metallics. I think this will be four small shoulder bags. Next is a Baroque style (but maybe around 1900?) silk mix velvet/plush. It's faded in the middle but the borders are perfect. Bags I think. Over at the right a 1960s pure silk dress - I love this kind of thing. It will be tarot bags but I have to think how best to use the print - needs something sixtiesish or maybe Art Nouveau with it. Then at the front another velvet/plush carpet - heavier and in cotton I think. Beautiful colours - just not like anything you see used now. I think we will only be able to get three or four bags from this though, as the centre has damage. I think this will have to be with handwoven handles, don't you think?