Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vintage Fabrics.

I have had a love of fabric for as long as I can remember. At the age of 5 I had a 'rag-bag' of fabric scraps that I would enjoy cutting into shapes. (Hope that doesn't make me sound sad!)
I took my 'O' Level in Needlework at age 16, along with one other girl! (OK, so 2 of us were sad!)
Anyway, that passion for textiles has never left me. I now have a large collection of vintage fabrics, some of which I shall never take the scissors to!
Unlike some antiques, textiles are susceptible to deterioration and are unlikely to last for ever, so I thought I would share with you some of my favourites:

Beautiful pink Roses.

More pink Roses on this sumptuous French C19th cotton.

A 1920's Rose and Bird inspired eiderdown fabric.

Stunning floral blooms on a 1920's Liberty print.

But, just recently I have been drawn to the slightly kitsch designs of the 1950's. I have hung this one curtain in the living room to see if it is just a faze, or whether I think I can live with it!!

It is a Fogarty print with yellow and red Roses and Primroses.
It's certainly cheerful, but not as dainty and pretty as the other prints. I think in a simply decorated room it would make an impact, (so I would need to de-clutter!!) what do you think?


  1. Anonymous12:26 pm

    I love all of those, especially the older ones. They just invoke a different life, don't they?

  2. Anonymous12:39 pm

    I think they are all pretty but the ones from the fifties are pretty AND cheerful! They would definitely add a fun mood to the room.

  3. I love the softer look of the antique fabrics, the 50s one is pretty but not in the same league. I'm afraid that I don't share the current craze for 50s retro - maybe because I was around the first time! All the bright colours were nice then because they brought cheerfulness to a drab post-war Britain. Now I just find 50s stuff rather ugly to be honest. Still, it would be a boring world if we all liked the same things:)

  4. Oh, I think my nan had some of that 50's one. I have a pair of curtains made in a similar fabric that I inherited from my nan, except this fabric has berries and rosehips instead of the roses.

  5. WOW your fabrics are divine! I love the first ones, those gorgeous pink roses..... absolutely breathtaking! I wouldn't be able to bring myself to cut those up...!

  6. Anonymous1:54 pm

    Have just stumbled accross your site, and fell in love all over again...! I am just in the fianl stages of completing my website, and in the premilinary stages of geting a small business up and running from the hobby I have had for many years, this being sewing, crafts and generally all things rosey, flwoery, country and girlie. In fact, I would say that you an I must be related in some uber-weird way, or from the identical gene pool that hovers around barn doors and wildflower hedgerows! Your website and home and pretty thinks make me feel warm inside, and I wish you well. I am from the midlands and recently moved to a pretty village in west yorkshire, where I intend to spread the 'vintage word' and riad every charity shop for a 25 mile raduis. Nice to meet you, and anyone who visits your site, we should all get together one day and have picnic!
    Love the 50's fabric, have several tons myself, and I too got an 'o' level in needlework, so can I join your 'sad' club please?
    Sue xx

  7. I love all the fabrics but the last curtain is so fresh looking. I think you are right when you say that it would look wonderful in a room where the curtains are not clashing with lots of other designs. Ohhh i can see them hanging in a white room with stripped floorboards - lovely x
    Tracy x

  8. Beautiful fabrics, every one! I have a "fabric thing" too...

  9. Hi Niki,

    Your fabrics are too beautiful!

    I absolutely adore the 50s fabric (as you know, because I bought one of your bags in the same fabric!) and I think the curtains look stunning, especially with the crisp white decor. Hopefully you won't have to de-clutter too much - how about adding a beautiful 1950s roses painting to the look?

    Clare x

  10. I like the vintage look materials the best but the last choice of material you pictured is also very stunning. I could see it in a living room and it would be beautiful. Live with it for a while and it will let you know for sure.

  11. Hi Niki

    You know I love the softer colours, but that 50s fabric is lovely nonetheless. I'm not sure you could live with it though, could you? Clare on the other hand ... !!!!

    Thanks for your comments again - I've taken a couple more photos and will endeavour to upload them later!

    Sue x

  12. Oh My, I'm in love with bird and roses fabric! The 50's fabric does make a bold statement. I love the bright clear colors of that era...they make me smile and I'm just in a good mood whenever they're around. Thanks for sharing pictures of your beautiful fabrics.

  13. All of your fabrics are really beautiful. As I love patchwork and quilting, I am always looking for nice fabrics, especially with roses.

  14. Hi Niki, thanks for those lovely comments on my latest post.

    I love all those pretty pinks, you know me....

    But I am openminded ya know, I can see the attraction to the 50's look. It's sharp and vibrant and really fresh looking. I can see you living with all of it.

    best wishes Ginny

  15. Anonymous11:45 pm

    I adore your blog and all of your pretties. How do you date fabrics? Just through experience? Anything before the 40s completely loses me...

  16. what a beautiful "stash" of vintage fabric you have - wow!!! love it =) debbie

  17. Always such inspiration here!!!

  18. Thanks for letting us see some of your beautiful fabrics. I love the faded beauty and subtlety of the older ones and equally the freshness and brightness of the later one (am I sitting on the fence) - I agree with Tracy, the later one would look great with white floorboards etc but I'm sure they look lovely just where they are.
    Kim x

  19. Those are so pretty! I especially love the last two with the reds and greens...Just fabulous!

  20. What a treasure you have!!!
    I specially like to do little works with this kind of fabrics plus embroidery/ cartonnage/ scraping :-D
    and my preferences have a look shabby in your blog.Would you like take a look?

  21. Lovely fabrics! It's wonderful to think that those same-style designs are still fashionable today, that roses and flowers may fall from grace but never go entirely and just wait to be discovered again. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  22. Anonymous3:26 pm

    I've chosen you to receive the Thinking Bloggers Award!
    You can see the post here:

    I love your blog, and I hope to send many readers over to visit!

    Have a wonderful day!

  23. Anonymous3:48 pm

    I love them all!

  24. I love them all too. I would like to know when does a material become 'vintage'? The last pair of curtains are so crisp and cheerful, I am sure I remember my sister having one of those full, flary skirts in a similar pattern!

  25. I just came across your blog for the first time and I just couldn't stop reading on and on. I love the colors and serenity of your home, your creations and what a beautiful collection of fabric. I am adding you to my favorites AND I am also nominating you for Thinking Blogger Award. I will most certainly be back...

  26. Anonymous3:43 am

    I love fabrics, too but I can't afford the is extremely rare to find anything decent & vintage at the thrift shops here. I was shocked to actually find a 50s tablecloth recently - well, it had two huge holes in it, but still. I like the 50s fabrics - the fun graphics & the bold florals. Years ago I bought a barkcloth curtain panel with weird Christmasy poinsettias in red/green/pink/goldenrod! I really wish I hadn't as it was rather expensive & it goes with nothing...but, it was nice & heavy & just had that old quality & all the really pretty ones were out of my budget...ha, I think I'll go fondle it again. :)
    Speaking of 50s curtains - when we moved into our home it had the original '54 curtains in the garage window. The were funky gray patterns, cool, but they were obviously disintegrating so I had to toss them. My elderly neighbors still have their's hanging in their garage window!

  27. Thank you all for your comments.

    Thanks to Tracy and 'Ragged Roses' - the room that I have hung the curtain already has white painted walls and floorboards - so maybe they will be OK in there!

    To Dawn, I guess dating fabrics comes with experience, but it is not always possible to date accurately - sometimes its guess work. The style of pattern, the colours, if they are classics can all help. Also narrow fabrics (small looms) were common in the C19th and early C20th, so this can also be an indication. (fabrics are wider now.) When collecting fabrics, you start to see the same style, colours etc. over and over again...


  28. Oh, it's all so YUMMY!!
    Not sad at all that you new what you liked at a young age!

  29. Hello. I am a norwegian blogger that also loves flea markets and the vintage style. I found your blog today and i just love it. I hope it is ok that I am linking to you?

  30. Anonymous4:52 am

    Oh my! I absolutely love those first two fabrics. I am loving everything with pink roses lately.

  31. I love the first 3! Gorgeous!

  32. I just adore that last print. The red is so striking, I think a little bit of red in a room is so vintage looking.

  33. Just beautiful, so delicated , so shabby....

  34. Oh I adore that last one. Definitely my kind of fabric. But they're all gorgeous really.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx