Dating vintage fabrics

Wool and flax were often dyed with this early indigo blue and used as a solid in wholecloth quilts and calamanco. Throughout much of the rest of the nineteenth century indigo blue was often seen as the background in prints, sometimes with the overlaying print in chrome yellow or orange.

How to wear vintage clothes: Dating Vintage - Silky Rose Vintage

Indigo continued to be common in cotton fabrics through the Edwardian period. Today, indigo blue dyes very similar to those made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are still common in African quiltmaking and are sometimes used in contemporary American art quilts.

Antique Fabrics

They were popular in quiltmaking in the same period as the double pinks, roughly to Madder dyes come from the roots of the madder plant, also known as rubia, and along with walnut shells, clay, and certain woods, were used to dye quilt fabrics brown from the eighteenth century onward. Madder browns often appeared in prints with browns of various hues. Madder red, also known as cinnamon red, was a bright red dye made from the roots of the madder, or rubia, plant, and was especially popular in the late nineteenth century.

It is differentiated from another red dye made from madder, Turkey red, because of its dyeing process. Water was used to make madder red dye, while oil was used to make Turkey red.


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Madder orange, related to madder red, could be produced by varying the intensity of the dye. Manganese dyes were responsible for a deep, rich brown and was often used in floral patterns.

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Manganese dyes have been used in quilts since prior to , however, they were often fugitive. Manganese dyes are often responsible for serious damage to the cloth and other adjacent dyes. Greens were very popular in these decades, and Nile green often appears in quilts with other greens, such as mint, dark green and sage. Prussian blue was very popular in America in the s, and was first used in the United States in the early s. Antique Fabrics stocks over yards of vintage fabric that date from the s to the s. They also offer a restoration service. Revival Fabrics has authentic vintage fabric from the s to the s.

Vintage and Vogue is another company that specializes in high quality reproductions of vintage and antique fabrics. There are a lot of ways that you can use old fabrics. You probably will not want to use an expensive antique piece to cover the couch in the den, however. These old patterns look great as throw pillows and accent pieces to brighten up your home. Curtains are another good use for the fabrics but use a backing or liner for them to prevent fading.

Stuffed bears and dolls that are meant to be used for display look great when made with the old patterns. Lampshades can be covered with s Hawaiian fabrics for a kitschy, casual flair in any room.

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Fabric Dating References - QuiltIndex

If you want a vintage fashion lookm consider making fabric purses, scarves, and other accessories. Vests and other articles of clothing that don't get much strain are good choices as well. Keep in mind that, depending on how the fabric has been stores, there may be areas of uneven fading and wear. Older fabrics require special care.

Use caution when cleaning and working with them; some can be fragile. The bits and pieces of antique fabric can add more style to your life than yards and yards of contemporary materials.


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More than seven years and blog posts later, I think it could be time to write an informative blog post for those starting out in vintage — what to look for, and how to date fashion. What I hope to offer is a solid starting point for you to explore from. Identifying vintage is like looking at a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces together in the right way to come to the most likely conclusion about what it is. There are a few different elements to consider and weight needs to be given to each:.

Wool lace featured in an early s afternoon coat, modelled by Becky Lou. General notes on dating items: Older garments have had more time to wear out or be thrown away and so rarity increases. This is particularly important for expensive items. If in doubt, ask questions or seek a second opinion. Cotton with machine applied soutache cording and pin-tucking, from a s day dress.

Vintage fabric is one of the best things about vintage fashion: Your enjoyment wearing it will be dictated to a large degree by how nice the material is. Likewise a Victorian dress made of polyester must be a more modern revival style. Pay particular attention to fabric when you acquire an item because if you want to wear it, or invest in it as a collectable it is imperative than the condition be good.

Dating Vintage Fabric

Any deterioration can provide clues to age but more importantly, diminish the value and life of the garment. Think carefully before buying anything that either needs major work, or can not be repaired. Every fabric is comprised of the fibre or textile and the weave what the fibre is made into. For example, silk satin — silk is the fibre and satin is the weave, so you can also get polyester satin and rayon satin.