Thursday 27 March 2014

Buying vintage fabrics


I thought today I would talk about buying and collecting vintage fabrics for using to make beautiful things for your home.

When buying vintage fabrics you should look them over carefully if you are at a textile fayre.  Make sure of the condition of what you are looking at.  It is well to remember unless you are buying a piece of fabric that has never been used, which is getting more and more difficult, that some battle scars are inevitable.

If the fabric is very delicate then you can use it to applique a picture for your home, using scraps and also knowing it will be behind glass and protected.  I would suggest that if you are cushion making then your base of the cushion should be good quality vintage linen which is strong and then simply embellish it with scraps of fabrics and use vintage buttons and embroidery to make the design.

You can also buy vintage fabrics on line such as Ebay.  There you need to look at the photos that are supplied and also the description.  Do not be afraid to ask the seller about the condition of the fabric that you are looking at and also the age.  Most people selling vintage fabrics on Ebay are doing it as a living and really should know their stuff.  If you are not happy about something then walk away.  The other thing to be careful of on Ebay is not to get carried away with the bidding.  Decide what you want to pay for something and stop at that.

The other place I know of on line is Rag Rescue and is run by a knowledgeable lady named Sandie.  Her fabrics are washed and pressed and come in little bags and she can tell you approximate age of fabrics and whether or not they are French or English etc.  Find Rag Rescue on google.

Rag Rescue also sell rag bags, bits of fabrics all of the same sort of colour palette and that makes it easy to choose.  You can cut out applique shapes to sew on or cover buttons with the contents.  This website is well worth a look at.

I personally buy from Rag Rescue and also some people from Ebay, but my favourite time is rummaging at a textile fayre.......

If you do buy from a textile event then you more that likely need to wash and press your fabric.  I have a little bottle of rose smelling delicate fabric wash.  I put a little in a bowl and pop my fabric in and swish it about.  Do not forget to rinse very well.  You will be amazed at the colour of the water!
Press very carefully and put a clean cloth over the top to protect your precious fabric underneath....

I store all my fabrics in a set of drawers and wrap and label each one in tissue paper.  Also I put a cedar block in the drawer for moths.  Not that my fabric stays in there very long as I make things for my business to sell and for magazine work.

I hope you have enjoyed this today and found it both interesting and helpful.  Email me if you would like to know anything and I will answer you and try and help or leave a comment.

A heart pin cushion made by a WW1 soldier.  They would send them home to their sweethearts.

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