Monday 17 February 2014

Vintage fabrics and buttons ..... and caring for them.

Good morning to you all

I thought I would talk to you today about vintage fabrics. As you all know that is my material of choice. Vintage French linen, vintage fabrics, paisley's, old eiderdown fabrics and really any pretty French fabrics I can get.  I enjoy adding the old monograms that have been stitched or the vintage laundry labels ..... all washed down as it were, with vintage carved mother of pearl buttons and embroidery...

But you have to take care of the fabrics and use them with care.  I have an amazing fabric, it is stunning but very delicate so it would have to be used in a picture say, so that it is behind glass.  I would not put any on a Christmas stocking for instance, it just would not stand up to continual handling.

If you want to make a cushion cover out of vintage linen, then it has to be strong and the weave tight, or it will just unravel.

You have to pick your fabrics carefully for each project that you do, not only the right colour for a project but carefully pick the project for the fabric.

Most of the fabrics that I buy have already been washed and pressed, but if I need to I only hand wash the fabric.  Firstly it is best to put warm water in your sink with delicate soap flakes and let the fabric soak for 15 minutes or so.  Then gently wash the fabric and rinse it thoroughly.  Hang it to dry and press when still a little damp, I have an old painted airer which was my husbands grandmothers I believe and it does the job wonderfully.  When it is thoroughly aired you can wrap in non acid tissue paper and if you take the time to label what it is, then you do not have to keep disturbing them until needed.

You can clean mother of pearl buttons too with mineral oil and rub dry with a cotton cloth.

There is some dedicated and hard work involved in caring for vintage things but the results are worth it and they are then preserved for future generations to come. I find doing these things therapeutic and calming and when the work is done a great sense of achievement as well.

The work is worth it when you stitch something beautiful that is new, yet has a 100 years or more history attached to it.  I made a wedding picture for parents of a bride and they were all thrilled.  It had history and was also one of a kind, not another person in the world has one like this........ I had a letter from the happy couple and they said it was amazing with all the history attached to it and what a stunning heirloom for their future children that they were planning on having.  They thanked me for making them such a beautiful picture for their home and thanked mum and dad for commissioning it...

All this dear readers makes my job even more enjoyable and worth while........

Happy Stitching

The love of sewing is our common thread............

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