Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Vintage Fashion & Textiles -My Kind Of Heaven

Had the most fantastic Sunday spending it at a Vintage Fashion & Textile Fair in Manchester. The fair is held twice yearly at the Armitage Centre in Owens Park, which is part of Manchester University although the fairs are not organise by them. The spring fair is organised by The Textile Society and the September one by Decorative Fairs  It is an absolute must for anyone who has an interest in vintage/retro fashions and textiles with literally hundreds of stalls there. I had the most wonderful time mooching and rummaging, and meeting lots of folk who enthuse about fabric.
No photos from the actual event- far too busy looking (& spending) to take photos, but I thought I might share some of my buys (and there were a few she confesses guiltily).  They are all favourites but for different reasons, and some I didn't realise how much I loved  until I got home and had a really good look.

I bought a collection of knitting needles- when I picked up the bundle I didn't realise what was in it until I unwrapped it and found the most beautifully organised set of knitting needles. They had obviously belonged to a serious knitter- needles of all sizes in bamboo, metal and plastic, in various lengths and many double ended needles. To me a wonderful find, and scrutinising it when I got home it was difficult not to think about the previous owner and what they had made in the past. I'm afraid I get a little sentimental and feel it's a real privilege to take possesion of such an item.

Another purchase was a bumper tin of buttons- I was offered the box , the price was named and I have to say it was too good to resist. I hadn't the time to fully examine the contents of the tin there and then but I had a wonderful time going through the box when I got home, and wasn't disappointed.

 There were lots of sets of vintage buttons all sorts of sizes, a few novelty buttons and some glass buttons. I think the previous owner must have taken buttons of clothes once they had finished wearing them and stashed them for future use in their button tin- something I do myself.

 I wondered what they did with the rest of the items whether they were re-fashioned into other pieces of clothing or whether they were used to make something like another one of my purchases- a peg rug.

I said this was post was a bit of a confession, and it is. I found and brought home this fantastic peg or rag rug, what it's called depends on what part of the country you come from. These rugs like patchwork were made from bits of old and used fabric- the ultimate recycling. Many of the rugs haven't survived, or when you do find them they tend to be marked and damaged as they were made to be used and usually sat in front of the fire.

 This one is made from pieces of wool fabric, and someone has spent some time planning and designing the rug. It is in need of a little T.L.C and a wash but otherwise is just perfect. So I'm delighted with this and am going to give it a good home.
I won't list all my purchases as it is becoming a little self indulgent but I thought I might just show you this lovely wool jacket I picked up  (an absolute bargain ).

 It is beautifully made and finished- I just love the detail in the tailoring of the jacket particularly the sleeves, the pleat in the back and finish around the pockets and front seams.


It was absolutely wonderful to wander round the fair and look at the most exquisite dresses, outfits and accessories of all vintages, and fabrics and textiles again of all vintages from all around the world. 
The next fair in Manchester is in the spring and for details go to the Textile Society website- there is a bonus at their fairs as many of the textile guilds are also there including embroiderers and quilters along with the commercial sellers .Decorative Fairs do organise other fairs in the northwest of England and again more details will be found on their website.
Thanks for hearing my confession and perhaps I've even tempted you to indulge your passion for textiles and vintage fashion. If you feel the need for a little indulgence I would really recommend a trip to one of the fairs.