Posts Tagged ‘textiles’

Vintage tea towels

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

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collection of vintage tea towels

We bought a box of mixed textiles at auction last week which included some lovely vintage tea towels. Great looking – and full of useful facts & figures too! Here are a few of our favourites.

vintage metric tea towel

The ‘Housewives Guide to British Metric Measure’ was aimed at helping us Brits through the process of change from imperial to metric measures – a process which started here in the 1960s and is still ongoing for most people! We certainly use a combination of imperial & metric measures in this household. Metres, feet, inches, miles, kilometres, kilos, pounds, pints, litres, Fahrenheit & Centigrade all jumbled up together – we just grab whichever seems to suit!

detail of vintage metric tea towel

Fabulous decoration and ideal ready reckoner this one!

detail of vintage metric tea towel

This next tea towel was issued by the British Diabetic Association.

vintage diet tea towel

A colourful textile, featuring foodstuffs with recommended daily allowances.

detail of vintage diet tea towel

Various letters & symbols indicate calories, carbohydrate, fat & protein content.

detail of vintage diet tea towel

The next tea towel concentrates solely on calorific values for those watching their weight.

vintage calorie values tea towel

It’s a very striking design and would look great framed.

detail of vintage calorie values tea towel

And the value for sweets? “too many calories” it says. We’ll be the judge of that!!

detail of vintage calorie values tea towel

This last tea towel is fabulous – a food guide to London restaurants dating from the 1950s or 60s. When did London last have 4-digit telephone numbers?

vintage vintage London restaurants tea towel

Some of the restaurants still survive to this day.

detail of vintage vintage London restaurants tea towel

We love the ‘specialities’ – from ‘midnight cabaret’ to ‘chicken paprika’!

detail of vintage vintage London restaurants tea towel

Drop us a line if you’re interested in any of the tea towels. They’re priced at £20 – £30.

Gimme Five: Chunky knits

Friday, January 9th, 2015

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Selection of 5 chunky knit homewares | @hisforhome

Nothing suits the autumn & winter months much more than chunky knit textiles – whether it be fashion or homewares. It adds warmth, softness texture & tactility to a room. A roaring log fire, comfy armchair, good book, hot chocolate… and a chunky knitted throw. What could be more perfect?

  1. Chunky knit pouffe foot stool, various colours: £39.99, eBay
  2. Pure merino super chunky throw: £120.35, Etsy
  3. Everyday wool ochre cushion cover: £190, Conran Shop
  4. Rowan Big Wool 100g: £7.86, Deramores
  5. Neo mix rug: £201.00, Love the Sign

Creative Collections: Bobbins

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

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collection of vintage bobbins and spools of thread

What a load of old bobbins! :-)  Welcome to the second of our new series of Creative Collections posts.

collection of vintage bobbins

We love these old mill bobbins and think they make a lovely display for a craft room or similar. All the different shapes, sizes & materials work really well together to form an interesting collection.

collection of vintage bobbins from above

We’re in the right part of the world to pick them up, but they’re getting harder & harder to find – especially the brightly coloured ones with their original paint.

collection of vintage bobbins with string and threads

A single, large bobbin is great for storing ribbon or twine. It will earn its keep while you hunt for others!

Tammis Keefe teatowel

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

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detail from a Tammis Keefe teatowel with red & white hearts and the words, "Home is where the heart is"

We’ve long admired the designs of Tammis Keefe. No relation to Justin, although you may not have to go too far back in history before their family trees meet. It’s interesting that her middle name was Thomas – and her father’s name was Thomas – and that she adopted the name Tammis which we think is a Gaelic form of Thomas. Justin has the same marked tradition of Thomas Keefes & O’Keeffes in his family. Father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather – stretching back to the 18th century.

Tammis Keefe teatowel with red & white hearts and the words, "Home is where the heart is"

Anyway, we’ve promised ourselves an example of Tammis Keefe’s work many times and it arrived recently. It’s very dangerous buying that first piece as it can be the start of a mad collecting frenzy. We’ve resisted for years, but this gorgeous “Home is where the heart is” tea towel was just the final straw! We had this piece shipped over from the States where most examples are to be found. It will look great when framed and be perfect for the kitchen wall – combining a vintage touch with warm sentiments. There’s also something very Christmassy about it so we might even save it for festive season appearances.

Tammis Keefe teatowel showing her signature

Tammis Keefe was born Margaret Thomas Keefe in Los Angeles in 1913 and, after initially studying maths at college, transferred to the Chouinard Institute of Art where she studied painting. Her early career was spent at Disney Studios – she then moved onto the influential Arts & Architecture periodical. Then followed a spell in the studio of textile artist Dorothy Liebes who was well known for developing the work of young designers. This was obviously a significant move with regards to her future career.

detail from a Tammis Keefe teatowel with red & white hearts

Her work from the 40s & 50s is very distinctive – full of wonderful graphic detail, colour, charm & wit. It was used on a great variety of home furnishing textiles, tea towels, place mats, napkins & handkerchiefs. Also clothing, crockery & glassware, wallpaper, stationery, product advertising & packaging. Sadly, she died relatively young in 1961, but has left such a wonderful legacy. And we’re pretty sure that this won’t be the last piece we acquire!

Here’s a list of further reading and examples of her work:

NWFestival | Making it Fun | Tammis Keefe | Flickr group

Tuesday Huesday: Ampersand Design Studio

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

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Selection of Ampersand Design Studio fabrics available on the Hawthorne Threads website

I discovered Ampersand Design Studio’s Cream and Sugar range via the Hawthorne Threads webshop and immediately fell in love!

I had my Bernina sewing machine serviced recently but alas it’s been lying dormant ever since. This fabric is just the thing to make me get off my proverbial and get creating!

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