The original idea of curtains was to keep the warmth within our homes and cold out. They were certainly a necessity, rather than for just decoration.
Curtains were once made from one piece of cloth which was then hung on a rod. The cloth had metal rings sewn to the top, which were then threaded onto the rod. The curtains were drawn from only one side of the window, unlike how they are commonly found these days. Back then, door curtains were far more common and made from thick tapestry. Bed curtains were also a common feature and again, were mainly used to keep you snug, warm and free from draughts. It did help of course that they looked quite pretty.
Nowadays the choice of curtain fabric is truly immense and long gone is the conventional way of thinking to dress windows. Anything goes, even those boring blinds that are so common these days.
I recently saw an interesting design that featured an oar as the curtain pole. Certainly an innovative concept and fun to look at too. It’s nice to see some originality.
I wonder, do we still follow the tradition of changing from winter heavy weight to spring and summer light weight curtain fabrics? It was quite an occasion at the beginning of spring, taking down those dark, heavy curtains and replacing them with the light and bright floral curtains.
Washing those thick heavy winter curtains was certainly a task, but with the nicer weather on the horizon, we could finally be able to dry them outside! Or in the case of chenille fabric, having them dry cleaned. I remember my mother would always spoil the nice clean smell of our curtains by storing them away with moth balls (yuk)!
That nice clean smell would of course be long gone by October, when it was time to rehang them, ready for those cold winter nights.
I think the catalogue has got to be an easy second to the industrial revolution.
The catalogue is a large book, full of things for you buy, all in one place and without the need to leave the house. This was the way forward, window shopping in the comfort of your own home. Hours spent wishing and hoping your budget would cover this gorgeous dress and pair of shoes.
The stores soon realised people were quite happy to choose items from a photograph and so, Argos and Index took advantage of this fact and opened store across the country. In theory, the idea of going to a shop, not seeing the item you’re buying other than from a tiny photograph in a catalogue in a corner all sounds fairly laughable, but the concept actually worked really well in practice.
The success of it mainly came down to the ability to buy pretty much anything you wanted, all under one roof. Brilliant at Christmas (although a nightmare as everyone else has the same idea!).
As the items are all stored in the warehouse to the rear, the storefront itself can be quite small. Occasionally of course you’d get the size of the item completely wrong and only realised this when the staff brought this rather small package to the collection desk. “That can’t be mine surely?”
The other downside to all this were the long queues and let’s not forget the store not having the item you want in stock, but not to worry, the one 20 miles away does!
Now we’ve taken a massive step forward with online shopping, going back to catalogue shopping from the comfort of your own home. What’s even better is the amount of information online that’s available to help you choose what you want. Detailed reviews and even videos showcasing many of the items you can buy online, not just from this country but from abroad too.
Just put in Google your requirements and hey presto, the world is your oyster.
Well unfortunately I still have got around to making those vintage scatter cushions just yet but I hope to do so this week!
These cushions were made a few weeks back. The cloth is from Ebay mainly and I believe the pink cushions is an old Dunelms cloth I’ve had lying around for a couple of years. I’ll hopefully get the vintage cushion covers done this week and use a better camera to take the photos with too.
I hope you like them, I can’t wait to make more soon.
Sorry for my recent absence, I have a new grandson so I haven’t had much time.
I got my sample for the vintage fabric I was talking about earlier in the month from Selby. What a lovely service they provide, very help when I rung up to ask about the fabric. The sample arrived very quickly and it was just perfect. the quality is really good so I’ve ordered some of it and if there’s any left I’ll likely order more. I haven’t found anything that compares with it on ebay.
I should have the cushions this weekend all going well! I’ve been struggling a little bit with the fabric as it keeps sliding under my machine, but I’m sure the final result will be worth the wait!
I’ve always loved vintage fabrics but it’s getting harder and harder to find them.
I still look on Ebay occasionally but the majority of them aren’t genuine vintage and you can often tell by the widths of the fabrics. The genuine fabrics are much more narrow (the looms weren’t as wide as they are now). I wanted some vintage upholstery fabric to create some new cushions to match my living room and I’ve found one that will look perfect.
It’s sold by selbysoftfurnishings.com and is priced at £15 per metre and I’ve ordered a free sample of it.
I also noticed they sold scatter cushions in the same fabric, which look really good, but I really wanted to make my own!
I actually found these two guides by mistake, I was actually looking on Selby Soft Furnishings I ended up looking through quite a lot of their site as well. There’s a lot of really nice fabrics on there but what really caught my eye was their sewing guides.
I haven’t been in Dunelms for a couple of years. I used to go quite a lot with my youngest son who would drive me there and carry all the fabric I’d buy! :o)
Yesterday we went in to see what their selection was like and it wasn’t there any more? They must have really cut back on selling fabric now, I always loved buying the clearance fabrics that used to have in the big bags. The fabric area has shrunk and most of the made to measure curtains you can now choose from swatches.
The prices are way beyond my budget, so I’ll have to go on the internet. There are lots of bargain fabrics online, most with free samples available so it’s fool proof and all from home.