Monday, November 23, 2009

parna vintage linen and hemp: Parna in the Media

parna vintage linen and hemp: Parna in the Media

Parna in the Media



Delicious magazine borrowed some of the embroidered Transylvanian pieces for their "Christmas Lunch" shoot. They showed a long wallhanging with a pomegranate design a a table runner and a lovely red and white piece, woven uing a kelim technique, as a table cloth

BBCs DIY SOS bought some grain sacks for a house they were renovating in Anglessey, Wales. I think it was screened this weekend but I am away from the UK so missed it.
Coast Magazine feature a vintage linen sheet which they had embroidered and is now hanging in a shop window in Brighton!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hand cut felt

These pieces are made by a master craftswomen who has been practising this applique technique for 45 years! It is a traditional Hungarian technique originally used for making beautiful felt coats ( suzrs) worn by Hungarian Herdsmen since the middle ages

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Appliqued cushions


What a lot of work but how lovely! Painstakingly appliqued onto the "home made" linen backing. Each millimetre of fabic is hand sewn onto the backing linen. These cushions are about 70 years old

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Parna features in this months edition of my green lifestyle

Parna featue in this months " my green lifestyle magazine. It is a beautifully put together, stylish on online magazine featuring lots of lovely eco products as well as great features.

Coming up Coast magazine, Delicious, BBC Homes and Antiques

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vintage Romanian Hemp Covers

I call the fabric made from this very distinctive Romanian weave "chunky hemp". These pieces werer traditionally used for curtains dividing rooms or perhaps sometime a bed covers. They tend to be quite heavy. They make good bed covers though not usually big enough for a double bed. The paleness is testament to their age as hemp lightens and oftens with washing. Even some of these much washed pieces still have woody bits of hemp. As is the case with many of the textile from these parts the colour are most often red or blue or a combination of the two. Recently I have come across some more unusual colours, red and deep charcoal grey for example. Quite common in these pieces is this rather lovely , I think crochet, joining the panels as in this piece here:







Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cushions from vintage embroidery " folk style"


I often come across embroidery in this style but not with such bold colours and on "home made" cloth. more here

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kalotosezeg embroidery

Kalotoszeg is an area in Transylvania, Romania, most of which was at one time Hungarian. Folk traditions in this area are still abundant. I have been commissioning and sellling cushions embroidered in the traditional " writing stitch" for some time now and they are lovely. This type is called "writing stitch" , as the design is first drawn onto the fabric by the "Writing-Woman." These women drew hundreds of patterns free hand from memory for half their village. I am lucky enough to have found a few experts. Traditionally the pattern was first drawn onto the fabric with a goose feather dipped in water mixed with Soot. Now they use pens! Traditionally embroidered in red ( for marriage gifts) blue or black ( for funerals).

This evening I visited an embroiderer, originally from the Kalotoszeg region, I saw many things woven and embroidered by her mother and grandmother. It was explained to me, that under Cecescau the electricity went out at 20.00 in the evening and they wove and embroidered by candle light as recently as 20 years ago!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Basket weaving


I have long admired rush matting for its simple and natural look but, until last weekend had given little thought to its making and I was very suprised to find rush being woven on a loom with a warp ( or is it weft) of hemp string. I was lucky enough to be able to chat at length to the curator and guide to an exhibition of basket making- all fascinating, There is a long long tradition of basket weaving in Hungary and it is thought that the craft was bought to Hungary by the Mongols many years ago. Rush , reed and willow are the most common materials for bakset making in Hungary. The rush matting shown above was traditionally used on mud floors in peasant houses or as wall hangings, placed on the wall alongside the bed . The bags like those shown above are woven on a loom and then beautifully seamed.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Matyo roses


This colourful, dense embroidery comes from the Matyo region, a small area in Northern Hungary. The most famous Matyo motives are the Matyo roses which initially gained popularity in the 1890s and continue to do so today. Recently I visited the "memorial house of a hundred roses" of Kisjanko Bori, who was a famous "rose writer" she drew roses onto cloth to be embroidered. These rose motives were also painted onto furniture and walls. These pictures show tradional Matyo costumes incorporating the wonderful matyo embroidery

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vintage costumes













These hand made, vintage waistcoats and jackets, complete with porcelain buttons come from Slovakia. Lots of bright colours, silver and gold thread.
The last two pictures show a hand embroidered childs waistcoat, lots of work went into this. More information coming soon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Embroidered bonnets

I bought these really pretty bonnets yesterday. I am trying to find out a little more about them, I think that they come from Slovakia and are about 100 years old. They are beautifully made and rather delicate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cross stitch embroidery


Well it was worth the long trip to the Ukraine border to meet Erszike and to see her amazing embroidery for which she has won the prestigious Kis Janos Bóri prize. Beautiful work and we are now working together to develop some designs using slightly different colours and designs than the the very bold traditional Hungarian red!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weaving hemp

Oh dear its been a long time since I last posted!. Been mad busy with big orders and the summer , nearly at an end, has sped by. This weekend however I did manage to take some time to visit amongst other things, a small village near the Ukraine border which was holding their annual "hemp" festival. This village is incredibly rich in folk craft heritage. My primary purpose was to meet Erszike who is a master embroiderer , I hope that we will be doing some work together in the future. It was a bonus to see the preperation, spinning and weaving of hemp. It just went to remind me what a time consuming process it all is! They still weave in this village, though mostly a hemp and cotton mix. Here are some pictures;

Hemp drying. After the hemp is picked it is soaked in the river of lake for 4- 6 weeks and then dried

The stalks are bashed to releas teh fibres which are then combed

spinning the fibres.....
and finally weaving the cloth, this chap was having a go and finding it very difficult!































Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hand crafted dining and kitchen ware


Spent a lovely weekend near Lake Balaton picking cherries and cooking on a fire in the garden. So many cherries, tiny wild strawberries and redcurrants.
One of the lovely things about Hungary is the strong tradition of folk craft and using what one has to hand.... I recently met a master craftsman who fashions bowls and kitchen implements out of wood from his garden. With a choice of cherry, walnut, yew, ash, beech , plum and apple. They will be on the webiste soon but here is a sneak preview, they are entirely natural and finished with linseed oil or beeswax .

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elizabeth Baer Textiles


Elizabeth Baer was at Petworth dispalying her wonderful antique and vintage French textiles and sharing her wealth of knowledge. Here is a picture of a very pretty boudoir chair covered in toile de jouy. My camera skills werent up to much that day, it is not the best picture but you can see more on her website and blog.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

fish swimming through the roof




The only obvious advantage of having left my internet stick in the UK is working in a wifi cafe with a shoal of shimmering fish swimming in throuh the roof.












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Saturday, May 30, 2009

French textiles at Petworth House textile fair







Above are pictures form Linda Clifts stall at Petworth. Linda specialises in lovely vintage /antique patchwork quilts, paisley shawls and French linens.
My next post will feature some French textiles from Elizabeth Baer



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Petworth House Textile Fair




The above is part of a stunning hand embroidered bed cover by Sophie Pattinson

http://www.sophiepattinson.co.uk/ . Sophie works with groups of disadvantaged women in Bangladesh to make these stunning pieces.

Sophie was one of the exhibitors at the Textile Fair at Petworth House. The pleasure gardens of Petworth House were a wondeful setting for the textile fair over the bank holiday weekend. We were blessed with beautiful weather. There was a wondeful mixture of textiles old and new and I will be featuring some of these in more detail over the coming weeks.









Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hungarian embroidery


As I helped a friend move into a new flat the other day I spotted this sampler on the kitchen wall. Embroidered in 1934 on fine, hand woven linen it shows the embroidery styles /techniques. Most originate from a particular region- more on this later

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Decorated brandy bottles



These colourful bottles ares home decorated brandy bottles. Most decorated with discarded electrical wire casing. They are not particulalry old, but I think they are an interesting example of folk craft/art -which traditionally uses available ( cheap or free) materials for the decoration of everyday objects to enhance the look of the home or surroundings .

Brandy is commonly home brewed in Hungary, usually from plums. In the village I stay in in Transylvania there is a village distillery, in the middle of a field on the outskirts of the village. The villagers bring prepared fruit harvested from their gardens and it is distilled into a powerful 52% alcohol brandy.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Textile Fair at Petworth House



Petworth House is a magnificent House and Park in West Sussex. Petworth House Costume & Textiles Fair will be a visual and sensual extravaganza. Textiles, costumes, demonstrators, artists and designers are all being brought together to provide a memorable experience. Renowned dealers in Antique textiles will show furnishing textiles and costumes from around the world. Over the weekend event visitors can also see magnificent textiles in the Petworth House collection. Admission to the fair is £5.



Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chelsea Flower show


Parna vintage linen will be feautured on the Hartley Botanic stand at the Chelsea Flower show. Vintage linen and hemp is fantastic for upholstery and soft furnishings and blends well with both contemporary and antique textiles and interiors. Parna was asked to supply fabric to upholster a small chair and for curtains which will feature on the stand.



Hartley Botanic, in association with their media partners, Period Living, have worked with Philip Hooper, of Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler, to create an integrated garden and interior, planned to appeal to gardeners and decorators alike. Internally, the main glasshouse reflects a loose interpretation of late eighteenth century style, with a nod to the gothic and Mughal architecture and decoration so popular the time, to tie in with the external theme.


The horticultural theme is inspired by the bi-centenary of Thomas Andrew Knight, a fruit grower and gentleman botanist, who moved to Elton Hall in Cambridgeshire, (rebuilt in romantic gothic style about 1760), when he married in 1791. (information courtersy of Hartley Botanic)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hemp sheets


I now use vintage hemp sheets for bedding and towels, it all started when I was staying with one of my suppliers in Transylvania and they were explaining to me the benefits of hemp sheets so I thought that I just had to try! The advantage of sleeping on these sheets apart from the fact that they are beautiful and entirely natural is that hemp fabric acts acts as a tempertaure regulator. Hemp is a fibrous cloth, with hollw stems and because of this absorbs moisture. Hemp sheets also make brilliant towels-swaddling yourself in these 100-200 year old hand woven fabric is wonderful , I now take them to the Turkish baths , wrapping myself in one of these sheets and lying on the rest beds for 10 minutes makes a perfect end to the bathing experience!