Archive for October, 2010

History of vintage tablecloths

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

vintage embroidered tablecloth

vintage embroidered tablecloth

I’m working on an ebook and this is part of one of the chapters. It’s still in the rough draft phase but hopefully you will enjoy this!

Victorian: 1865-1899

Industrialization and new inventions revolutionized the textile industry but also lightened the load of the average housewife. Sound familiar? It happens in almost every generation! Now the housewife has more time for artistic endeavors such as the wonderfully detailed and embroidery and lace on tablecloths from this time period.

Why Victorian? Queen Victoria set the style. In the late 1800s, she had lost her beloved Prince Albert and made it fashionable to be a widow, using dark, rich colors and fabrics. Table linens of this period were heavily decorated, plush, rich, velvet or tapestry.

Art Nouveau – Art Deco: 1900-1920s

The beginning of the 20th century was a period of brilliant and energetic designers who believed that all art should work in harmony to create a total work of art. Again, this sounds familiar of today’s ideas! Tablecloths conformed to this principle by geometric squares, stylized florals, good luck symbols, ribbon, animal prints, laurel wreaths, etc. The colors were brighter than the Victorian but still muted like pastels and pale greens, pink, mauve, and gray.

As the United States entered WWI, Germany was producing about 85% of the world’s supply of dye. However, a blockade of German shipping caused a dye famine in the US, forcing Americans to come up with a quick solution. As a result, many textiles from this time period resulted in unstable colors.

The Depression: 1930s

Thriftiness was the word of the day in this time period. Homemade goods and recycled fabrics were a sign of the times. This is when you will find the printed feedsack cloths that were recycled into tablecloths. My grandmother (born in the early 1900s) said that if you paid an extra 5 cents for the flour (or whatever) in the feedsack, you would get the fancy flower printed one instead of the plain so that you could recycle it more readily.

vintage printed tablecloth with teapots, 150s

vintage printed tablecloth with teapots, 1950s

Just sold this one on eBay for less than 10.00. It was a beauty!

fall tablecloth with leaves and acorns

fall tablecloth with leaves and acorns

this one is not vintage but it is listed on eBay until Oct. 31.


THANKS FOR READING!  More to come…………

SELLING VINTAGE sewing PATTERNS ON EBAY— what to look for

Sunday, October 10th, 2010
anne klein pattern

anne klein pattern

I’ve sold a lot of sewing patterns on eBay over the years. I find that some of them sell very well and others not at all.

In the area of clothing patterns, anything from the 1970s and before is good because of the fashion of that era. Bell bottom pants in the 70s, dresses from the 50s and 60s, and if you can find any patterns before the 1950s, they are good just because of the age. The one I have shown at the top of this page is a specialty clothing pattern that I just discovered recently. Vogue put out a number of patterns from famous designers. These are larger in size than the regular size patterns and some of them are “Americana design” and others are from parts of Europe such as Paris. Some of the designers I have seen are Teal Traina, Anne Klein, Guy Laroche, Bill Blass, and Fabiani.

Check out this vintage pattern (click on the red words) that sold for 280.00!   Vogue Paris Designer Wow—wish it were mine!

teal traina pattern

teal traina pattern

Then there are patterns other than clothing. Apron patterns are great. Also craft patterns of any kind, particularly toys. Again, these should be vintage patterns. If you can find any Betsy McCall (doll) patterns, you’re in luck!

vintage girls patterns

vintage girls patterns

Boy and girl clothing patterns are cute but I haven’t sold them for more than a few dollars. I usually try to group clothing patterns together (unless they are the designer ones), and sell them as lots of 3 or 4 or even 8. There is a market for it. I just pick them up whenever I can and do a search on eBay before I list them.

Thrift stores are a great place to look for patterns as well as yard sales and local auctions. Many people collect the patterns or use them for costuming for plays. So keep your eyes open for some great vintage sewing items, including patterns!

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