Saturday, 8 September 2012
Bags of Bags
Here is a small selection of my 'Patchbags' as I call them. They are one of the ways I use up every scrap of old French materials, specially the early indigo blue-dyed bedding ones. There is flamme(bottom left) which is, like Ikat, woven with slightly irregular tie-dyed indigo threads, which gives a flame-like pattern, in fine cotton for bed hangings and coarse weaves for pelmets and valances. There are a myriad checks, from very fine to large, in many different weights - the best looking cloths are the 18C block printed linens and hemp used for quilted bed covers and pelmets in splendid bold scrolling curls and foliage, or graphic pictures of children, historical figures (really the precursors of Toile de Jouy) or classical tablets, cartouches and emblems; then there are the gingham checks, mostly blue, but also red, varying from 2" square, known as 'Vichy' Toile,(upper bag) to gingham size, and the tartan-type blue checked fabrics known as Cholets, woven and printed in the town of Cholet which specialised in table linen, tea towels and hankies. They were all hand-sewn by an army of cottage workers. A purple Cholet handkerchief was the sign of a gentleman! I have many for sale with hand-rolled seams and exquisite initials in finest cross stitch. Sorry now all SOLD.! None of these things are cheap in good condition, but you can do wonders with carefully cut remnants and as all the dyes are based on indigo, they meld together very well.