Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Recyling Vintage Fabrics

An Article on Vintage Fabrics by Joan Kiplinger

Oh, that old thing, I threw it out......
I cut it up for dust rags......
I cut it up for craft stuff......
Hubby needed oil rags.......

Words which send shudders through collectors and protectors of any kind of textiles, old and new. How many times have you heard the above phrases and cringed at the loss of what might have been salvageable goods. Well, in the broadest sense, the well-intentioned folks above actually did salvage.....

However, it is a foregone conclusion how much more abundant costume and quilt collections as well as general textile market availability might be today if common sense were used in conjunction with salvageable.....

There comes a time when a decision has to be made about what is worth saving totally intact or in part or what is justified in discarding or cutting up textiles just for the fun of it.

Most fabric collectors agree that because a textile is old or worn or ragged or not in the best condition or slightly damaged is not grounds for cutting it to pieces nor throwing it in the nearest dumpster. Among the many reasons for saving, historical value alone is desirable, especially in determining origins for instance of a quilt or garment, and as much as possible should be retained of the original for provenance and study purposes.

So when is it not a sin to throw away or cut up the old - when damage is so severe that it renders total fabric useless for any cause - allover splitting, mildew, rust spots, pinholes, oil and other unremovable stains, permanent odor, mothholes and other bug infestation are justifible causes. While it might be possible to rescue a few small scraps, there is little reason to keep mutilations unless the damage itself can serve as an example for personal reference and study groups. And there are some preservers who would argue this last sentence be stricken in the cause of preservation of all mutilations.

The next decision is what to do with items in usable or salvageable condition that you do not want. The following are some suggestions which will enable their longevity and bring literal joy to the receiver:

1. Donate to local historical society or museum
2. Donate to church group
3. Donate to a charitable organization
4. Donate or sell to or make a deal with quilt guild
5. Donate or sell to or swap with friends and family interested in textiles
6. Donate or sell to or swap with artisans and crafters.
7. Sell to antique stores
8. Sell on Ebay
9. Place with consignment shop
10. Place a classified in local paper

Undoubtedly you can think of other resources. But if you decide to keep the good parts of throw-aways, here are some ideas how to recycle them. My thanks to the following for sharing their creativity and projects:

Sharon Anderson, vintagererproductions@westriv.com ; Pat Lynne Grace Cummings, Quilter's Muse Publications, www.quiltersmuse.com pat@quiltersmuse.com ; Judi Fibush, J.P. Enterprises, www.fibush.net judi@fibush.net ; Barb Garrett, With A Mother's Love, bgarrett421@comcast.net ; and Nancy Worrell, Nancy Worrell designs, nowdesigns@earthlink.net

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See our selection of Vintage Sewing Fabrics at our ChShops.com Mall Store at:http://pennysantiquesandwedgwoodpantry.chshops.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24_75.


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