Sunday, 20 May 2012

A Stitch in Time...

Vintage textiles are something of a passion of mine. There is something about the quality of the details and design of clothing from the past that really cannot be copied now. In particular any embroidery or beading would once have been completed by hand, wheras now any details can be replicated by machine, and anything done by hand puts a hefty premium on the price.

For me, the era from 1930 to the early 1950's captured everything in Britain, from pre-war growth to wartime thrift and then onto the continued post war rationing and the so-called 'New Look'. Designs were influenced by the economic state of  the country so the lack of everything from buttons to fabric started 'the make do and mend' ideal of remaking your own clothes which became a valued skill. Of course vintage is now seen as a fun trend of wearing something unique and 'retro' is celebrated in exuberant style at Wayne Hemingway's Vintage Festival in July.   

Looking through some of my collection reminded me of how beautiful textiles can be at one end of the design spectrum and at the other so functional. So whether it is a women's wartime naval overcoat or an early 1930's handpainted silk dressing gown, all of these things have their place in history. Oh, and I still wear all of mine, so here are a few favourites:

Short green silk, hand-embroidered dressing gown
from the 1940s.
It looks like the embelishment was added by the owner
as a way to make it more special. 

Early 1950's cotton lace blouse.
This one has tiny seed buttons and bobbles all around the edge 

This is a more modern embroidered design but still worthy.


This one is my absolute favourite and extemely fragile.
I didn't even dare iron it before taking this photo.
This is an early 1930's handpainted silk kimono style
dressing gown.
The design of chrysanthemums is all around the hem with
smaller flowers all over the rest of the garment. 


Jessica Rosemary Shepherd said...

Gorgeous stuff - I love textiles - thanks for sharing these little gems.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Thanks Jess, I love this sort of thing and have all sorts of historic bits and bobs lying about.

Debbie Nolan said...

Janie those are lovely vintage garments. I especially love the jade with the pink embroidery work. It is wonderful you still wear these items. Thanks so very much for sharing.

Caroline Nash said...

Oh wow I am drooling, not a good look but textiles and vintage, yumm!

Are you going to the Artisan market at Twesledown on Saturday a friend and I are going for a look round, if any good may take up the offer of a stall in June.

Sketchbook Squirrel said...

Hi Debbie. Yes everyone likes the green one and Ii thought we could all do with a bit of cheering up over here, as the rain has been constant!!

Hi Caroline. Oh I think we can forgive the drooling! Haven't heard of the Twesledown market, you will have to give me more on that one, sounds good. x