Friday, April 23, 2010

Vegetable dyed yarns by Renaissance dyeing

I first came across Andie of Renaissance dyeing sometime ago when I was seeking advice on dyeing vintage linen with vegetable dyes.

Andie is passionate about using plants to create the most wonderful coloured yarns

Andie and her Dutch husband Adrian have settled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, enabling Andie to indulge her life long passion for natural vegetable dyeing and colour.

Her atelier in is packed full of plants, wool and lots and lots of wonderful colour. Blues from woad and indigo, reds from madder, cochineal and brazilwood, yellows from weld, fustic and onion skins. Add oak bark, oak galls and logwood and you have a palette that produces over 150 different naturally dyed shades.

The dye-house and winding machinery are housed in a converted barn in an ancient hilltop village. In this traditional textile area amid wild dye plants and newly cultivated woad fields.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stenciled vintage grain sacks

Stenciled vintage sacks. Home woven. Twill weaves. These come from villages in Southern Hungary. Some have the name, town and house number stenciled on them. Others just the owners name. As you can see some of the names are German. During the rule of the Habsburg empire Germans were encouraged to settle in Hungary and to work the land. 800 villages were founded in Hungary between 1711 and 1750 ( some of these are now outside the border of Hungary)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Using vintage linen and grain sacks for upholstery projects

I am frequently asked about using these lovely vintage fabrics for upholstery. Their strong close close weave and distinctive look makes them fantastic for making original pieces of furniture

These fabrics were loomed on narrow home looms, widths vary but are rarely greater than 60cm a panel. Cart covers, sheets, mattress covers have all been made by sewing panels together, they are often beautifully hand sewn with hemp thread.

Cart covers are ideal for larger pieces and easier than fabrics from roll because the lengths are already hand sewn together.

These two pieces by Dan Marty design, the sofa is covered using what looks like a cart cover

The patchwork effect is also popular and often uses a mixture of grain sacks, of different colours with varying stripes and the odd monogram thrown in. This one is from Antiquted

and this one here from Hossack and Gray, this sofa is upholstered in a ix of striped and hand dyed vintage fabrics

and here is one, also from Hossack and Gray upholstered with indigo dyed vintage linen