Sunday, 26 June 2011

Vintage fabric novice

I discovered the pure joy of vintage fabrics rather late in life. Well hopefully not that late just the about to turn 40 stage when a radical career move was already on the cards. Consequently I do not have any formal education in textiles or textile design. I am in awe of those who have. Through pure love and determination I'm getting to know more about vintage barkcloths - how to recognise the era's, the key designers, where it was manufactured. As for other vintage fabrics I am clueless. Seriously.
Take the four pannels above. They are four different colourways of the same very loose open weave fabric which almost feels like its embroidery. I've been using small pieces of them for the vintage fabric and lace lampshades for a long time now but these are my very last remnants.

I haven't a clue where to start looking for replacements. I think they are from the 1930s but I can't be sure. What would you even call this type of fabric?
Any textile gurus out there that can help?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Vintage Wallpaper Sun Substitute

Distinct lack of sunshine in these ere parts.
Having gone around repeating to anyone who expressed dismay at the rain "oh, but I bet the farmers are so relieved"....I have from today changed my automatic and very british weather commentry to "lets hope that downpour's not damaged the crops too much".
I have no real reason to be fretting about the yield from the land. Must be a subconcious thing in support of eldest son who hopes to go to Agricultural College in September. Oooo aaarrh (somerset styly).

In absence of the Sun I brightened the kitchen table this afternoon with cuttings of vintage wallpaper in yellow. A customer asked if I had any "yellows" for a custom child's ply chair. I was suprised to find quite a few. These are my favourite.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Inspiration from the Baroness

I have a new lamp shade in our living room.
Do you like it?

I found a pair of curtains at a village jumble sale some time ago. They weren't barkcloth but a heavy linen and so I had no business looking at them. But the selvedge was in French and the colours...oh. I was in love.
They have sat in the non barkcloth pile of my cupboard for some time until one day I read an article about Lisa Bengsston.

Oh my. What a clever cloggs that lady is. I love all of her fabric designs but Baronessa is just great.
I like it in blue....
1. Lisa Bengtsson  2. as before 3. Living Etc December 2010 4. as before
I LOVE it in pink....

Lisa Bengtsson
But in chartreuse and chocolate.........I could eat it. All day.
 Well..maybe not eat it but you know what I mean..cover everything in it..cushions, chairs, the sofa.

Lisa Bengtsson

And actually that's not really so hard to do...recover the sofa I mean. Thanks to those brilliant folk at Bemz you can buy new slip covers in Lisa's Baronessa Design for several IKEA sofa's. Bemz have a nice blog and there are reports of covered beds and bed skirts next so don't be suprised to find me drooling badly in a future post.

 But for now I am happy to just enjoy my new lampshade. They are similar right?

PS: If you love this original vintage Baronessa looky likey too there's enough for one more large retro drum lampshade in the shop now.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Arcopal Lovin

It is always really lovely when you discover that someone who's work you have admired for an age ,and whom you believe to have excellent taste, reveals that they like the same stuff you do.

Arcopal Kitchen Corner

Hence imagine how ticked I was to see Emma Lamb - master of colour palettes and crocheted ladies - had posted about her newly beloved jug. Hey I've got one of those I exclaimed......well two actually but one's a bit faded and I save it for pouring pancake mix and the like. It's Arcopal I cried. The French version of Pyrex or Fireking. Its tough, its pretty, its dishwasher safe and everything tastes better out of it.

Why should it give me such a buzz? Is it vindication that you ar not so silly after all thrifting old bits from the recycling and dodgy jumble sales? Or is it more that you are somehow part of the joy now being experienced by others with the same refound stuff?

What I do know is you don't get the same feeling buying stuff new from the highstreet. Refound objects have a doubt.

As if to prove a point within hours my new flickr mate Simone Retro had been intouch to invite us to a new Arcopal Flickr group. Happy days.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Naming of the barkcloths

Sad to say goodbye this weekend to two shady ladies in one of my favourite barkcloths. I called it Tiffany. Something to do with reminding me of the wonderful  glamour feel of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Tiffany Vintage Cotton Barkcloth
When I looked through an old film book ...low and behold good old Audrey is sharing the most important meal of the day with just such a red rose.

There's probably enough left for one more shade in the shop if you've fallen under her spell....the cloth that is not Audrey.
Not all the names I give my treasured fabrics make so much sense I can assure you. But I do have fun trying.

The squiggles and lines of Celia put me in mind of the AMAZING  textile designer Celia Birtwell.

Bookcover of Celia Birtwell by Dominic Lutyens

Florence is rather like something from the Magic Roundabout. 

And Malayan is named after the Himilayan Blue poppy. Right up there on my "have to see before i pop my clogs" list. The barkcloth version is gorgeous and my photos don't do it justice. Unused and still crisp off the roll too. A very lucky find.
Himalayan Wild Flowers from RedRockTrek


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