Friday, June 25, 2010

Vintage Rag Rugs

The weaving of recycled cloth to make floor coverings was once common place in many parts of the world. Old, worn clothes amd textiles were torn or cut into thin strips and kept to make rugs, wall coverings and even table mats.
In Hungary traditional floor coverings include rag rugs and rush matting, both woven on a loom.
The rags used in these rugs are much finer than those commonly seen. The designs feature vertical and horizontal stripes, the vertical stripes being formed by the use of different coloured warp threads.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Indigo resist dyeing

Indigo dying first came to Hungary with German immigrants in the mid 1700s. There are a few workshops remaining. Janos, who dyes for us owns and works in one of these.

Janos works in the same studio, using the same traditional techniques with much of the same equipment as his father and his grandfather before him. One of the huge mangles was once operated by horses! With swathes of drying fabric in various shades of indigo , stone dyeing tubs, mangles and beautiful printing block its an awe- inspiring sight and the resulting fabric has an extraordinary depth of colour.

As well as the beautiful range of indigo shades Janos also uses traditional resist dyeing techniques. Patterns are applied using wax using blocks, the fabric is then hung and dipped repeatedly, the number of dips determining the final shade. The wax is then removed. Janos can resist dye 300 patterns, most are traditional, applied using wooden printing

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Choosing vintage fabrics (2)

These images show a mixture of vintage linen rolls, grain sacks, mattress covers and cart covers.

The linens pictured above were all hand woven in Hungary.

These toffee and caramel stripes were not as commonly woven as the red or blue stripes and as shown were sometimes woven with pinkish red or blue. They usually have a very light sand or cream ( rather than grey or stone stones) backgrounds and often mix and match well.

Cart covers and rolls can be used to upholster large pieces and mattress covers for chairs. Sacks can be used to make cushions, the red and caramel striped sack in the picture above is 150 cm long and could be used to make 3 small cushions.

For upholstery fabrics with close weave are more hard wearing. Generally thes fabric are very strong and hard wearing.