As soon as I started writing my last post I realised that I wanted to blog about my vintage curtain collection. Of course the realisation was followed almost immediately by the question 'why?' And I have to admit that I don't really have an answer for that, except to say that if anyone else out there has a curtain collection I'd love to see it. And I know of at least one other blogger who is interested. And I'm pretty easily encouraged - one 'Come on show me yours' is enough for me! So apologies to anyone that popped over here thinking that they might actually get to see some crafting!
When I first saw this pair I almost kept on walking because they were absolutely filthy. And I mean filthy. I'm reasonably sure that Jim thought I had finally crossed the line when I pulled them out of my bag. And the man I bought them from quite obviously thought he'd pulled a fast one when I actually payed him money (50p!) for them. The print is called 'Davenport', but the selvidge doesn't say who the designer is.
I spotted this pair being used to wrap furniture at a car boot sale. It was just as the car boot sale was ending and this old guy was packing his van full of dodgy old furniture and was using these curtains to protect the furniture. I can't tell you how strange the look he gave me was when I asked him if he'd sell them to me!
I love the texture of barkcloth so much. It lends itself to floral prints so perfectly. And after years of use it becomes so soft and just begs to be fondled.
I was lucky enough to find two full length pairs of these curtains stuffed into a bin bag at a car boot sale. They were slightly more expensive than the others (£5 for two pair - so perhaps expensive isn't the right word to use!), but are in perfect condition and just beautiful and soft. The print is 'Bowden' for Bevis Fabrics.
These are the curtains that I've just hung in my front room and write about in my last post. Love them.
I was really in two minds about this pair when I first saw them. Although they actually aren't as drab as they appear in these photo's they are still fairly dull and I wasn't sure whether to buy them. But they were very cheap (50p) and I think they're growing on me. (I've also photographed them sideways!! Blah)
I was lucky enough to find these a couple of weeks ago! Aren't they just wonderful? Unfortunately there isn't a selvidge on the curtains so I don't have any info on them, but I'm assuming 1950's. They are in perfect condition and beautiful!
And last but oh so certainly not least, just look at these!
Unfortunately there was only one curtain when I found this. And no selvidge, so again no info, but oh my god how I love it!
I have a few more pairs of curtains but these are my favourites. I bought them all very cheaply and have found that most people simply don't see any value in barkcloth. Because it's quite a heavy cotton it doesn't lend itself to much other than upholstery - although I think that you could make some wonderful skirts out of some of the lighter curtains - and people just see it as old fashioned and useless. So if you look carefully for it you can really pick up a bargain.
A lot of modern designers are influenced by the original 50's and 60's prints and of course you have people like Cath Kidston using it alot in her designs, so it's definately gaining in popularity again. But I just love it because the texture gives it a real depth and movement. It isn't a flat fabric and it begs to be touched.
My biggest problem is whether to actually cut it up and use it or to keep the curtains whole and preserve them.
I have had horrible, horrible food poisoning this week and I have to admit that sitting at the laptop is making me feel pretty sick again , so I'm off back to my bed now, but tomorrow I have a whole day of crafting so I intend to do another photo journal of my day, similar to last week. Only this time I'm hoping to actually post each photo as soon as I take it. The only problem is, because of the time difference most of you will only be around to read it much later, so you won't even know it was posted in stages, but I like the idea of making a post every hour, so if you are around, keep an eye out for it. (possibly setting myself up for failure here, but hey ho!).
Sorry to any Blogliners out there - I had to edit this post because I missed out a photo, misspelt a name and generally buggered it all up!