Sunday, May 5, 2013

A trip to the Vide Grenier... a Fabric History of France!

I got back from the massive school Vide Grenier this afternoon and unloaded my finds:
There seems to have been a theme to today's haul! I'll take you on a mini-tour of French fabric history, thanks to today's stall-holders. Let's go backwards in time...
So, it won't surprise you to know that in the 1970s, French women were crocheting granny squares with the rest of us! 3€ with a matching cot blanket thrown in...
They were also buying repro floral fabric rather like the Laura Ashley trend in the UK - I thought this fabric was original early 20th century, but the woman who made the curtains sold them to me, and she should remember when she bought the fabric! She was using it as a tablecloth today... another 3€.
We leap back to the 1950s, and find the origin of the fabrics that Cath Kidston has made so popular today... 50c.
We have to go back a bit further in time to discover that France was importing, or even making, paisley shawls in the 1840s - I am going to have to research this a bit further. It's a fine woollen weave, and in pretty good condition - much like the fragment of Scottish paisley shawl that I've treasured since I found it in the 1980s. This one is whole, with one hole on the fold and a rather fragmenting fringe. 3€.
It seems we have to go even further back for this embroidered bag!
OK, so the bag itself is a little damaged, but the fine embroidered roses and the swags, ribbons and chains are in great condition.
"Oh, around the time of the Revolution..." opined the stall-holder, selling it to me for 3€! What do you think? Which one would you choose?
In other news, Son 2 has adopted not one, but three guinea pigs! I will be asking Seranata for advice... He was very, very keen to care for some rodents, and the owner of these three is ill and has returned to the UK for immediated treatment (please pray for her - we are very moved by her story) so we stepped into the breach! Son 2 didn't really sleep last night, because he kept imagining that he was a guinea pig, and he had a nap with them in their substantial run on the sunny lawn this afternoon. It's going to be hard to get him back to school tomorrow!




8 comments:

Elizabethd said...

How interesting to see the different fabrics that you found. What inspiration for today's CK and LA designs!
I wonder if your son has read Paul Gallico's 'Pignapped'?

Carolyn Phillips said...

What beautiful fabrics.

Lorrie said...

Wonderful treasures. For me, it would be the embroidered bag that I'd want to bring home with me. The history, the beautiful stitches!

Sarah said...

Lovely finds and guinea-pigs!

I have two little pigs in my back garden, they love bouncing around on the lawn in their run. I also give them most of my peelings & scrap fruit and veg from the kitchen, though mine are particularly keen on celery and apple. I love the happy excited noise they make when I open the back door in the morning to feed them.

polkadotpeticoat said...

Look at those little cuties you adopted...kind of like our new cat! Love your finds Floss have a great week...Heidi

vanessafrance said...

Gosh, what wonderful stuff you found! You obviously have better vide-greniers down there than we do in the sticks. Or maybe you're just better at finding things than I am...

Sue said...

A wonderful collection, history through textiles is really fascinating. The bag would be my favourite one though.

Guinea pigs are such fun and very easy to look after, but do watch out for buttercups in the grass - we think this was the cause of one trip to the vets.

Thecraftytrundler said...

Lucky you!! Those vintage fabrics are gorgeous!! I know what you mean about Cath Kidston getting inspiration. My friend Suzanne got some fabric from a local tailors that was closing down. In her bundle was a lovely piece of Fabric similar to the cream CK fabric with birds, and flowers on! Not as bright in colour, a lot more subdued in colours, as you'd expect.
Hope you, and the family are well, and love your Guinea Pigs : ) xx

Sharon x