This month we purchased some vintage fabric and I couldn’t help but think of the traditional rhyme, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” With about 15 yards of this gorgeous vintage toile, Kay asked me to consider making a sample. I hesitated at first, because working with antiques so much of the time the rule is to leave it in the original condition, or “don’t touch.”
But then I considered the Japanese boros which literally means tatters, where artists have taken scraps and brought new life to the fabric creating clothing, and quilts. The something old and the blue were both meant to offer protection, which the boro offers from the elements. Then, I considered the trend of “quilting vintage” where quilters are giving new life to vintage textiles from yard sales.
I use reproduction fabrics all the time mixed with my hand dyed or hand painted fabrics, but there is something different about using an antique or vintage fabric. Reproductions are wonderful, but they are frequently made at a different scale than the original. Also, frequently the colors are altered slightly to appeal to modern tastes. In my world, antique or vintage fabric has always been carefully stored in climate controlled conditions.
Finally, I considered the fact that 85% of used textiles are ending up in the landfill. Used textiles include textiles that have been purchased, stored, but never actually worn…aka stash. So, given that horrible thought, that some of the fabric I treasure might end up in a landfill? The vintage fabric is still calling out to me to be made, so I will be making a sample. If you care to join me in rescuing the fabric and creating art out of it, we’ve put the extra yards for sale in our Etsy shop, along with some other vintage fabric. So get sewing today and don’t let any of ours or your treasured fabric end in the landfill!