Sunday, 10 March 2013


I have recently bought a lot of Ukranian flax cloth, lovely beigey colour and nubbly texture - great for upholstery. I was interested to read an Exhibition booklet written by R.Chenciner and John Cornall, one of my suppliers, about peasant art from Tsarist Lands. The painted furniture is highly decorative and the designs bold, and the distaffs (Pryalki) were painted and carved to be handed down and treasured through generations. The distaff was made to hold the raw flax during spinning and the stick was anchored to the body of the spinner, either underarm or between the legs. Russian linen can be very fine and attractive, is often embroidered with small red cyphers and is still being woven along the Volga river where the crop is grown. Theresa Tollemache has established a factory over there and sells her embroidered linens and fabrics in this country under the make, The Volga Linen Co. I met her a long time ago at a fair at Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, and she is now flourishing with two shops and a lovely mail order catalogue. She told me her grandmother came from Russia and this encouraged her to track down the weavers and crafts-people and replicate her grandmother's old linens. I love it when enterprising young people get hold of a good 'niche' business and make a go of it, and do my best to support them.   I will have a lot of very attractive and very nubbly grain sacks  in porage shades with dark brown stripes at the forthcoming Rag Market here in Bradford on Avon on Sunday May 19th.   See my Blog STOP PRESS FUTURE FAIRS. I have upholstered my own fireside chair with two and they are wearing very well and hardly show the dirt (armcaps are a big saver of grime)  They are good for stools, outdoor seating, boats and dog cushions and are very much in tune with current 'earthy' looks.

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