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There’s more to vintage linens than their standard, original use. Creative folks have found unique, cool upcycling ideas for vintage linens to be repurposed into some usable and amazing fashion and homewares pieces. What is it about vintage linens that’s so enticing and enchanting to these creative folk?
The quality of the fabric, patterns and the connection to history are the biggest attraction for inspirational upcycling designs .
The fabric quality is incomparable to today’s commercially manufactured linens. The use of pure processing materials, the durability of the material and the feeling of a well loved piece of vintage linen surpasses today’s quality.
People also love the patterns of the fabric. This could be reminiscent of a certain era, such as the colour and style of the pattern that really defines the period. The colours are so different to today, so they provide a snapshot of the times.
Connecting the linens to a social story helps to join the past to the present. Often these kind of stories start with “This was my Mum’s favourite…” or “This was my parents’ wedding present they kept for good, but never used”. Connecting people and places with the vintage linen potentially sets the mood of the newly upcycled piece.
The designs, the hand sewn embroidery, the history of time, the smell, character and memories makes these retro linens so enticing.
Blankets, linens, doilies, tea towels and blankets can all be re-purposed or upcycled. I’ve found and collated an amazing number of Australian creatives who make unique one of a kind fashion pieces and homewares from vintage linens. Read on to see what kind of items these creative folk make from vintage tea towels, blankets & jumpers, bedsheets & fabric and doilies. All are available for sale through Etsy Australia.
Read more stories here at French for Tuesday about ways local creatives upcycle and re-use waste to make it a valuable and useful resource:
- Blue Wrap Couture: From Waste to Art
- Creative ways to upcycle tea towels, repurpose bedsheets and fabrics, and reuse blankets and jumpers
- The Lake Macquarie NSW Sustainable Neighbourhoods Waste to Art Annual Exhibition
What are your favourite vintage linens – bedsheets, tea towels, tablecloths, blankets or napkins? If you feel inspired to create your own upcycled goodies with vintage linens, here are a couple of inspirational books to get you started:
Fun with Fabric by Jane Foster
Jane Foster’s work is strongly influenced by Scandinavian and British design from the 1950s and 60s. Fun with Fabric presents 15 simple projects, using fabulous fabrics from her own collection. Jane shows you how to sew and stick to create bold, colourful accessories for your home.
Tips for Vintage Style by Cath Kidston
Cath’s practical and inspirational advice will show you the best ways to use up leftover wallpaper and fabric and learn how to create a vintage home that will be the envy of all your friends.
Kirstie’s Vintage Home by Kirstie Allsop
Looking to the past for inspiration and embracing vintage style to create something unique and beautiful, Kirstie continues her love affair with everything handmade. Re-using, restoring and upcycling, Kirstie shows how to transform vintage fabrics, furniture and other everyday things into modern day treasures using a range of crafting skills and techniques. The book is packed with practical techniques that can be adapted to suit your own objects and furniture.
Homemade Gifts Vintage Style by Sarah Moore
Homemade Gifts Vintage Style inspires you to make or customise your own vintage wares and present them as gifts. Rather than throwing out worn jumpers and blankets, give them a new lease of life by turning them into cute animals. Instead of ditching cushions that have seen better days, why not transform them into something unique with colourful and eclectic vintage fabrics. Sarah Moore shows you how with step-by-step photographs accompanied by simple instructions. Projects can be sewn by hand or accomplished with one simple stitch on a sewing machine so are suitable for all abilities.
The Apron Book: Making, Wearing and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort by EllenAnne Geisel
The Apron Book is an infectiously enthusiastic guide to aprons, old and new. Vintage aprons help us remember home and family the way they used to be, while bright and sassy contemporary aprons confirm that nesting is all the rage. The Apron Book provides full-colour photos of new and vintage aprons from the author’s collection, patterns for four basic apron styles and myriad variations, recipes, tips on collecting and preserving vintage aprons, and heart-tugging family stories about grandmothers who wore them.
Decorating with vintage accessories has been a popular trend for a while, and becomes even more popular as people realise that vintage style doesn’t have to mean old and antiquated. Finding creative and cool upcycling ideas for vintage linens are lovingly essential for decorating your home or yourself in vintage style.
Where can you buy your vintage linens?
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