Saturday, 18 June 2011


   Ten years ago, I bought a load of Kelsches from Alsace Loraine, thinking that the weaves were interesting and very folklorique .  Nearly all were unused, hand-woven with lovely texture, with the family initials on them and rarely, pearl buttons or the handmade linen buttons referred to in  BLOG re Dorset buttons (FOR DORSET READ GERMANY and BUTTONY).  There was no great interest in my finds and I consigned them to the back of my store, out of sight and mind.
   Today I cleared the store out, ready for next week's big clearance sale here in Bradford on Avon, at the Church Hall, July 1st.2nd Fri.Sat., and found three neglected Kelsches hiding there.   A few weeks ago I advertised some newly acquired ones (I cannot resist them!) and they flew out to keen buyers see BLOG  - CHECK IT OUT and KELSCHES IN QUANTITY, now all sold out!

Cotton check Kelsch  4'7 X 5'5"

Pair of Trad. damask weave Kelsches initials C.P.
So now I have a few more for anyone disappointed and scans below show them in detail - both lots in perfect, unused condition.  The fabric makes lovely cushions and seats for antique chairs and benches and I have seen them used very effectively as kitchen curtains, they are very sturdy and washable (40o).  The double pair are in a very traditional rustic damask weave that I have seen in table cloths, runners and  napkins and has a very strong twill weave background, and are lined in calico - the other is double-sided, so lots more yardage and in a strong cotton.   The pair are £140 and the single £55 plus postage.  Alsace Loraine is a very prosperous area with a fine tradition of textiles and weaving not to mention a lot of wine growing.  They also have coalmines and steel works.
Historically there is still a strong German influence and I think it comes out in their designs, and they have a little girl figure called Hansi in their very traditional costume with a strange black hat, who is often depicted on ribbons, table cloths, china etc., all highly collectable.
      I was so interested to read some more info. on Kelsches in a very good article in "Selvedge" magazine today - I didn't know that they only used red and blue and natural white linen and hemp and the name Kelsch was a corruption of the word Kolnisch Blau after the town of Cologne where woad was produced near the river Rhine.  A Monsieur Gander has done a lot to revive the weaving of Kelsches; his family of weavers go back to the 17th.  Century in Alsace . see

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