Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vintage Fabric

Having lived through the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and the aughts, I can tell you that nothing defines a period more clearly than the fabric. Sure, we all want to use that vintage pattern, and some of them are really evocative of their era. But a straight skirt is a straight skirt in any era. And so, to create something vintage, you have to have the fabric.

This piece screams 70s. In what other era would you find plisse (this is a chemically treated fabric that puckers like seersucker) in a diagonal orange yellow and green print? I even have patterns in my shop that call for diagonal print fabric. I have to wonder what this was intended for. Pajamas? A dress? In any case, it's a wild piece that is really, really fun. From the way it wrinkled in the dryer, it's obviously 100 per cent cotton so I'm guessing nightwear was its intended use. I think I'd have trouble sleeping!

Or how about this piece? It's 36 inches wide which is a big clue. But it is also in the penultimate colors of the 1950s, aqua and navy blue. (The ultimate color of the 1950s would have to be pink.) I have a set of Fashion Frocks cards from the 1950s and these are the most popular colors by far. This gorgeous piece is obviously 100 per cent cotton (as were almost all cottons of that period). You can just see this one in a gorgeous tailored blouse or perhaps sheath dress.

 These two pieces of fabric are a pretty good contrast between an era of extremely good taste and one that was characterized by extremes and loud fashion statements. I loved them both.

I'll be listing these fabrics and more in my Etsy vintage shop called Coconut Cake.

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