Wednesday, 9 May 2012

By Their Tablecloths Shall You Know Them



Sonata:

Have you noticed how rare it is these days to find a proper fabric shop ? It's been a while since I've been in one like this , now that everyone this age shops in H & M . But , thanks to recycling shops and Collectors Fairs , there's still fascinating stuff to be had , if not in vast quantities .



Last week , in Leiden , after walking past this splendid statue ( Leiden was a textile town , years ago ) , I found the red piece in this trio in a charity shop ... I have no idea when this design was manufactured . I should imagine it was used for household linen for quite a few years , since you see it fairly regularly . 1940s , perhaps .






But I couldn't resist this either .... a 1950s kitchen tablecloth .... this must have been so modern when some young housewife dished up supper on it ( something with a glacè cherry on top perhaps , followed by a bowl of lime jelly ? )



Then there's this tiny piece ... remember when everything had to be orange ? There's something rather Mary Whitehouse about the print , though , rather than trendy


On the 20th , Friend and I are hoping to go to the Amsterdam Traditional Textiles Fair at the Duif church , but it'll be just to admire and yearn . Vintage textiles are .... justifiably ... rather expensive , but nothing brings a period more to life than the clothes they wore and the sheets they slept in .

11 comments:

rachel said...

Oooh, that tablecloth! Gorgeous or what!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love fabric. I am trying so hard not to go out and replace the stash I edited so fiercely with loads more. That would be foolish. Fabric has to come in with an immediate requirement written all over it. Repeat after me: fabric has to come in.... Well of course it does.

English Rider said...

I made a two piece skirt suit with some brown and orange print very like that, in my youth.

Marcheline said...

You have just stumbled upon one of my passions.... vintage linens! I have a collection of mid-century tablecloths that has exceeded my storage space, so they now also reside in my pantry. I put a different one on the table each week, to the chuckling amusement of my husband, who doesn't "get it" but appreciates my apparent joy.

Love your retro fish tablecloth!!!

colleen said...

I wonder whether Freud ever thought of interpreting fabrics. Can't help thinking the tablecloth would make an interesting case study.

Enjoyed very much all those lovely posts on Amsterdam.

Molly said...

Can I come too? I promise to behave......

Rattling On said...

I have blogged before about my shameful stock of old tablecloths, and people buy me them as well. In my defence I do use them and I like ironing...
Once again I'm jealous of your proposed trip.

mountainear said...

Love that 50s tablecloth - but not sure I would want it to dress my table though. I said goodbye to tablecloths a long while ago- apart from high days and holidays when a crisp white damask emerges from the drawer.

However visits to car boot sales see me resisting temptation - there are so many beautiful pieces of good linen which I wish I needed to buy. Like Elizabeth I try only to buy if I need too.

love those cupcakes said...

I'm always bemoaning the dearth of fabric shops and market stalls here (though my sewing is very basic). I made most of my small collection of tablecloths but have to say my favourite was bought in India.

Carolina said...

That brown and orange flowery fabric reminds me of the wallpaper I had in my bedroom. And of course I had an orange television. And brown carpet. And orange and cream knitted pillows on my bed. Very funky. And a Japanese paper umbrella mounted on the ceiling in the corner above my bed with a light behind it. Ahhh, memories. And all because of that small piece of fabric :-)

Liz said...

That last fabric is so familiar!

There is a huge textile shop in Tiverton (Devon), Heathcoat's. It's sited in the original factory - no, wait, it might be in the school next door that the founder built for the children of the town.