Vintage Fabric - Retro Fabric - Vintage Fashion blog

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fun Vintage Fabrics - Just In

Just added today to are a grouping of vintage acetate fabrics.

These are fun vintage novelty fabric prints from the 1950s in motifs of butterflies, musicians, big-eyed light bulbs (you have to see this one!), camping lanterns, birds, and floral. All are dress, blouse, and lightweight pillow weight vintage fabrics.

I just love working with acetate, it has the lustrous shine similar to silk fabric, the swooshy rustle and body of a taffeta fabric, is soft, looks luxurious, doesn't shrink much, and dries quickly.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Favorite Sewing Trim Paper Label - 1930s

My creative juices are flowing just looking at this paper label.

It's a vintage Ap-Li-Kay sewing trim banding from the 1930s, in a yummy peach color.

I'm going to photocopy the paper label, enlarge, and frame it. I'll also use some vintage banding in lieu of matting, but may go with another color besides this peach. I love the peach, but it doesn't flow with the color scheme I have in mind.

Stay tuned, I'm going to work on this project over the holidays and post photos!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Vintage Grandma Moses Fabric - Halloween

Just added to is a really great vintage Grandma Moses fabric, from Moses' original painting "Halloween"

Grandma Moses was a self-taught artist. Her unique folk art style of painting made Moses one of the most successful woman artists in America during her time.

Anna Mary Robertson was born in 1860 on a farm in New York, and she also lived for a time in Virginia. Grandma Moses could have coined the phrase "it's never too late", since she started painting in her 70s and finished a painting at age 100.

At the age of 12, Moses left her childhood farm home, later married Thomas Salmon Moses, and had 10 children, five of which survived. Grandma Moses died in 1961 in Hoosick Falls, New York at the age of 101.

Moses' artwork was first discovered in a drug store window by an engineer. He marketed her art work to galleries in New York with little success; many gallery owners thought it foolish to invest in a painter in her 70s. But, after St. Etienne gallery in New York took a chance on her, Moses had a one-woman show in 1940.

Before becoming a folk art painter, Moses embroidered landscapes until arthritis settled in her hands. She then took up painting, and painted the people, things, and place in her memories.

Moses was a landscape artist with an eye toward the four seasons, as can be seen in her "Halloween" painting that speaks of Fall.

Between 1950 - 1967 the Riverdale Company manufactured fabric from many of Grandma Moses tiles and paintings.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Vintage Hats by Christian Dior

Vintage couture eye candy by Christian Dior. Vintage footage of Dior hats atop the heads of high-cheek boned models.

Simply divine.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Twitter and now Facebook

I'm on a roll and having fun! First creating Revival Fabrics twitter account, and now I'm setting up Facebook for Revival Fabrics. Please stop on by to one or both, tweet me or become a fan on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Special Free Shipping Offer

Here's an early heads up for my blog readers!

For a limited time I'm offering FREE shipping for vintage fabric orders $75 and over. No coupon code needed and the offer starts right now.

(Standard shipping only please, no overnight or International shipping)

Let's Twitter !

I'm now on Twitter, tweeting as revivalfabrics

Let's Twitter! Tweet me, I'd like to know what you are up to

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sale Reminder through November 30th

Just a reminder of our sale going on!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all

Today through November 30th, Revival Fabrics has two super offers on vintage fabric just for you.

Orders $49 and greater will receive FREE shipping. No discount coupon code needed upon checkout.

Orders $125 and greater will receive a 15% discount AND free shipping. Please use coupon code MY15 upon checkout.

Free shipping to United States addresses only. Overnight shipping not included in this offer.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cubism Art Movement - Vintage Fabric

If you like the early 20th century Cubism art movement, you'll like this avant-garde Cubism influenced vintage 1960s - 1970s fabric called "Roses Cubism" with blue and green roses at Revival Fabrics.

"Roses Cubism" vintage fabric, in comparison to the second photo, a 1915 Rij-Rousseau portrait, has a striking similarity to the abstract lines of the Cubism art movement. (photo used with permission from Wikimedia Commons).

As with many vintage fabrics, you won't find the original artists name on the selvage of Roses Cubism. But regardless, fine art design on fabric, it's always a gem to find.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

FREE Shipping on Orders and a 15% Discount!

Today through November 30th, Revival Fabrics has two super offers on vintage fabric just for you.

Orders $49 and greater will receive FREE shipping. No discount coupon code needed upon checkout.

Orders $125 and greater will receive a 15% discount AND free shipping. Please use coupon code MY15 upon checkout.

Free shipping to United States addresses only. Overnight shipping not included in this offer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is that Fabric 100% Cotton or a Cotton Blend? Scrunch It!

Today in the wild world of vintage fabric, let's be mad scientists.

Here's a simple experiment to see if a fabric is 100% cotton, or if it is a cotton blend:

Take a single layer of fabric in your hand and scrunch it. Hold that scrunch for a few seconds and then let go. Do you see wrinkles, or a few slight creases? The more wrinkles you have, the more likely the fabric is 100% cotton. Cotton-polyester blends were originally manufactured to give fabric less wrinkles.

If you want to take this experiment further, and really show the world how much of a mad scientist you are, strap on a pair of goggles and whip out a lighter:

Take a strand of fiber thread from the fabric; from the end of the fabric is easiest. Burn the thread with the flame of the lighter (safely please, with a glass of water handy). The ashes of 100% cotton will burn clean. The ashes of polyester or a polyester cotton blend will be more tacky or form into a small hard ball.

The top photo is a circa 1990's cotton-polyester blend floral fabric. As you can see, after I administered the scrunch test, the fabric had very little wrinkles.

The bottom photo is a 1940s blue and white floral 100% cotton. For maximum results I applied a heavy tightly held scrunch, and as you can see, the fabric has wrinkles. With less scrunch applied, there would be less wrinkles.

Do you have any vintage fabric mad scientist experiments of your own? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear about it and try it out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Vintage Clothing Tag Photos - I like it

Over at the World Famous Design Junkies blog, I like their photos of vintage sewn-in clothing tags.

As a fan of vintage clothing, the first thing that I do when I find a piece that I like, is check the tag to see the size.

If a manufacturer name on the tag is no longer around or changed names, that gives you a big clue of the age of the garment. Letter fonts are fun to look at, and there's another clue to solve the age mystery. Fonts are popular one year and discontinued the next.

Vintage clothing tags can tell you so much about the era of a garment, plus it's just plain fun to see graphics from the past!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Recognize that 1971 Singer Sewing Machine!

My mom had this very same 1971 Singer sewing machine and loved it so much she used it for years. She eventually upgraded to a newer Singer, but used her 1971 machine for tricky sewing jobs; she knew that '71 inside and out.

This 1971 commercial brought back great memories of shopping at fabric stores with my mom for just the right sewing pattern. Then I'd pick out the fabric I'd want for my outfit. I can still hear the riiipppp sound as scissors met cutting table, at the fabric cutting counter. Or if the fabric was thick, it would be a whoosh-snip-snip sound.

Thanks mom, for the great sewing memories.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look for this vintage fabric on cable television

One of vintage fabrics will be in the upcoming cable television show Caprica, a spin-off of Battlestar Galactica. The series is being filmed in Vancouver, B.C. and will premier in early 2010, on the Sci-Fi Channel. There should be some pretty cool looking 1940s - 1950s clothing on the show. It's a 1940s rayon fabric featuring poodles.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Let's Go Shopping! Handbags from Vintage Fabric

One thing that I especially enjoy about vintage fabric is it's uniqueness.

Vintage fabrics make fashion and accessories like handbags exciting, new and fashion forward: you won't see, over and overs, the same popular fabric pattern designs used for pillows, purses, clothing in stores and online shops. A design can lose it's appeal if you look at it and think, "wait a second, I just saw this fabric pattern on a purse at the store I was just at."

Handbag designers that use vintage fabric for their designs have it going on. Check out the handbag designs by Liz Shaw of Liz Shaw Design. She uses vintage fabrics, vintage buttons, and other materials from the past to create artistic arm eye-candy. For you musicians, you'll love the guitar theme "Rock" messenger bag line.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Color Trends of 2009 - series - vintage fabric and fabric

As a continuation of the blog series "Color Trends of 2009" let's talk about color trends of fabrics on the market right now. As goes popular trends for fabric colors and designs, often times will the tastes of collectors and designers that use vintage fabrics.

I've personally noticed here at Revival Fabrics there has been an upswing in interest of purple themed vintage fabrics.

Kim Kight at True Up tells me that fashion and fabric color trends for this year: "I'm seeing lots of purple and fuchsia. I think navy, black, and silvery gray are back in and brown is on the decline as the go-to neutral. I'm also seeing lots of mustard, avocado green, and orange ... the classic 70s kitchen colors. I'm slightly horrified to see the neon paint-splatter phase of the 80s come back in style, though I do get good nostalgic feeling from some retro 80s motifs and color combinations, if they're done right."

What goes around, come back around again, and at Like Totally 80s website, they agree that the 1980s have made a revival. As noted, Michael Kors used neon green for his Fall collection.

Fashion Trendsetters sees 2009 fabric color trends in the metal gray family along with cement, slate, and interestingly recycled paper color, and lastly white accents.

Catch the next part of the Color Trends of 2009 series as I discuss fabric color trends in the crafting world.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Vintage Fabric - Friday Favorite - sunflower power

This vintage 1960s voile fabric makes me want to sing "The sun will come out tomorrow..." it's such a cheery print. No need to break out in song though, here in Oregon there's not a drop of rain in sight and the skies are blue.

Happy weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Color Trends of 2009 - series

Now that we have a few months of 2009 under our belts, let's take a look at some color trend predictions to see if the experts were right.

Let's first start with home decorating color trends for 2009. The next blog series will be color trends of vintage fabric, fashion, and craft.

Interior paint: According to Active Rain the best selling paint for 2009 would be Split Pea by Benjamin Moore. Interestingly, mauve may be back by popular demand but with a contemporary spin. I can't help but remember the many restaurants and fast-food joints that had mauve interiors years ago. Surely, hopefully, paint manufacturers won't recreate "restaurant mauve," or I'll begrudgingly think of fries and pie-by-the-slice as I view the freshly painted walls in the homes of America.

Building Online predicted that we are in a comfort seeking pattern, with thoughts turned toward the environment. Think sustainable "green" colors: browns, rich grays, natural blues.

If you are a fan of wood constructed furniture, Furniture Today surveyed suppliers and found American cherry most popular, followed by maple and white oak bringing up the rear.
Furniture Files blog finds that white furniture remains popular for 2009. Myself, I had an all-white kitchen and adored the sparkling, bright white look, but it was tricky to keep clean. Oh, how my white kitchen glowed almost etherally when cleaned spotless. I now have darker cabinets and slate-green tile much easier to keep up. Also noted is purple furniture coming on strong.

Rugs and Carpets: Over at the Carpetology blog floor texture colors range from earthy browns to greens. Unusual and lively color combination of blue and orange were also noted.

Oh my! HGTV scared me for a second when I read the bold colors of the 80's are back. I'm much relieved to learn that 80's colors are back but in subdued shades.

So what do you think? Have you noticed purple furniture nestled among interiors of bold 80s colors? Did the they get it right?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Vintage Fabric - Friday Favorite - poodles !

Poodles! I just love vintage fabrics and any vintage textiles that feature poodles. Growing up I had a poodle/chihuahua/terrier mixed breed. Since my sister and I had a cat, it was my brother's turn to pick out a pet. He wanted a dog; not just any dog, but a big dog. The bigger the better. With my mom at the wheel, we all climbed into our pea green station wagon for a trip to the Humane Society. If our station wagon had fake wood paneling on the outside, we would have really been stylin'. We weren't that high society.

As we walked past a few cages, my brother said he wanted to look at all of the dogs before choosing. We soon found him two cages down, one knee on the floor, in an eye-lock with a brown haired dog no bigger than a kitten. She was smooshed up against the cage door, body all a wiggling and happy, trying to get to my brother. Well, that was it, he found his dog, or she found him. Maybe they found each other.

So today's Vintage Fabric - Friday Favorite vintage poodle rayon fabric is brought to you by the fond memories of an itty bitty dog that found herself somehow in a bad situation, but through nothing else but optimism, freed herself from that gray cage.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Vintage Fabric - Friday Favorite - feedsacks

These just have to be the prettiest vintage feedsacks that I've come across in a long while. Purple is one of my favorite colors. The combination of buttery rich yellow and purple makes me want to get out in the yard and plant Spring flowers. I'm ready for the rain to go away and come back another day --- and let the sun shine! We've had some dreary Winter days here in Oregon lately, but the sun is wrestling through some stubborn clouds today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Vintage Feedsack History

Normally I'll find vintage feedsacks that measure between 36 to about 39 inches wide (the stitches taken out and opened). But recently I found a collection of 10 vintage feedsacks that measure 25 inches to about 27 inches wide (stitches taken out and opened). Well now that's pretty cool and unusual. These ones must have held less than 100 pounds of feed, flour, or something else.

I'll post the photos tomorrow on Vintage Fabric Friday's Favorite find...try saying that 10 times fast, I dare you.

In the meantime, here's an interesting read on the history of feedsacks


Friday, February 13, 2009

Vintage Fabric - Friday Favorite

I remember in the 1990s when Blitz brewing closed it's doors for good here in Portland, Oregon. The news was big, since Blitz beer, in it's heyday of the 1960s - 1970s was THE beer of choice (or rather, party beer of choice). I was just a wee girl at the time so wouldn't have partaken in the beverage but sure do know that it was an icon of it's time. It's pretty cool to have found this vintage Blitz cotton fabric from the beer company's glory days.

Are the people in this 1960s - 1970s Blitz beer commercial video only getting their groove on, or are they perhaps getting blitzed? A few more Blitz's and that jet skiier may just topple over into the river.....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If This 1972 Vintage Retro Fabric Could Talk

Last week I posted about how I excited I was to find this retro fabric with an actual date printed on the selvage.

It had me wondering...what was happening in 1972 when this vintage fabric was manufactured? Here are a few things it could tell us about:

1) David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust: men and women alike, we are still in love with David

2) Republican Richard Nixon wins the Presidential election over Democrat George McGovern. Two short years later, bad boy Nixon gave his resignation speech due to the Watergate scandal.
3) The VW Beetle was the most produced car in history.
4) Sanford and Son starring Redd Foxx as Fred G. Sanford, a junk and antique dealer, debuted in 1972 and ran for six years. When I was young, I felt I couldn't have enough stuff. Garage sales were heady events for a girl with a pocket full of jingle-jangling quarters. In our little white Datsun, my Mom and I would hit every garage sale within a 10 mile radius on many a Saturday. I'd hone in on stuffed animals like a pigeon and then move on to ceramic animals, oftentimes sidetracked by anything cat or rainbow themed. Nirvana I tell you, nirvana! I was seriously impressed by the rooms of stuff on the show. Sanford's cranky attitude didn't fool me as a kid, that mischievous twinkle in his eye gave him away.
R.I.P. Red Foxx

5) Platform shoes, all the rage for a night on the town.
6) At the movies, The Godfather was number one.
7) America was reading I'm OK, You're OK. It made the New York Times best seller list in 1972.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Unique Rugs ~ felt rug beauties

I'm a firm believer in mixing vintage with contemporary. After all, I sure don't want to be a walking museum if I wear only vintage from head to toe. Nor do I want to live in a museum; I mix and match eras with an eye to what "flows".

On Unique Rugs I spied a fabulous vintage felt rug that is on my wish list. The website has vintage rugs along with contemporary rugs. It's kind of neat thinking of owning a rug that was handmade in the mountain region of Turkey. I'd showcase this beauty by a handcrafted walnut sideboard that I have. There's also oriental rugs, kilim rugs, Turkish rugs, and many other rugs on the website.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Vintage Fabric ~ Friday Favorite

Today we can take off our detective caps.

Most vintage fabrics require a bit of detective work to figure out the era. Tightly woven vintage cotton often "says" 1940s. Metallic gold print keys you into the 1950s. And if you have a mind boggling pink and orange color combination with smiling mushrooms, you know that the fabric probably hails from the groovy 1960s.

Today my favorite find is a vintage 1970s fabric with the actual manufacturer's date printed on the selvage: "1972 Russell Mills, Inc." Mystery solved. In two seconds flat. It's from 1972. wuhuu!

to heck out this vintage retro fabric

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009 ~ cool fabric project

Happy Chinese New Year! The traditional Chinese New Year celebrates Spring, which to me means renewal and growth both mentally and spiritually.

I spied the coolest fabric fortune cookie project on the Olabelhe blog
The blue background that she chose on the fabric is perfect to symbolize the coming sky blue days of Spring.

Here are the original instructions to make the fabric fortune cookies from the Brassy Apple blog

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vintage Fabric Friday Favorite

One of my personal favorites for vintage fabrics are print designs and colors that just "pop". I recently found a retro fabric with eye-catching red against a cool looking background that is a printed faux blue denim. It's such nice supple cotton, and would would work well for a swingy dress or even a man's shirt. You gotta love unisex fabrics.

Check out the The Jelly Bean Bedazzler

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did Obama Wear Vintage Fabric at Inaugural Balls?

Yesterday I was glued to the television watching the inauguration of now President Obama.

I wish I would have read a news story on Obama before the inauguration instead of after. Dressmaker Deb Mascia from Hawaii made a cumber bund and tie from the fabric of a dress that was Obama's grandmother's.

The cumber bund and tie were sent to Washington, but I'm sad to report, I don't know if he wore the items made out of the vintage fabric. Hopefully I'll find out! Do you happen to know?

Read the full story on Obama and vintage fabric

Friday, January 16, 2009

Vintage Fabric Friday Favorite

Sweet and petite red cherries....yummers.

Normally I find vintage dimity fabric with dainty floral designs. Then I found this 1930s-1940s cherry dimity fabric and fell in love. I still adore little flowers, but dang, isn't it unusual?

Take a peek at Revival Fabrics

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Sewing Machine (song)

This song rocks! On YouTube I found a song clip, The Sewing Machine, from the 1940's movie "The Perils of Pauline" starring Betty Hutton. Are you having a love or a hate relationship with your sewing machine today? Either way, I spied some bolts of fabric in the background of the clip and would love to see those vintage fabrics today....

Thursday, January 08, 2009

9 Great Things about Alfred Shaheen ~ In Memory

I was saddened to read the recent news of the passing of great Hawaiian textile and garment maverick Alfred Shaheen. You can't get a closer glimpse into the history of Shaheen's lasting greatness than on his daughter Camille Shaheen-Tunberg's website

9 Great Things about Alfred Shaheen ~ In Memory
1) In July of 2001 won the Hawaii’s Lifetime Achievement Award
2) Not only manufactured but also printed fabric
3) The 1961 Elvis Presley album cover Blue Hawaii featured Presley in a Shaheen aloha shirt
4) Shaheen's high grade fabric and artistic designs propelled Hawaiian shirts into high fashion
5) The 1950s cotton Shaheen sundresses are fantastically glam and figure flattering
6) You'll be inspired to sew a dress when you find a vintage Alfred Shaheen sewing pattern
7) Fabrics were hand screen printed and resulted in deep, rich beautiful colors
8) People told Shaheen he was crazy to get into the textile business. We're glad he didn't listen
9) Shaheen hired many local Hawaiian designers for authentic Hawaii artistic design