I have a delightful collection of vintage fabrics to share with you. Mario and his wife Cat got in touch with me to say they had a box of vintage fabrics arrive from Italy and they didn’t want to throw them away. Bella (my little red car) and I turned up to collect the box not knowing what to expect.
I discovered the fabrics belonged to Mario’s grandmother who lived in Genoa in Italy. ‘Her name was Cele, short for Celeste, which means azure in Italian, which happened to be her favourite colour too’ Mario told me. ‘She was an avid reader and I still have hundreds of her books straddling from classic to edgy cool. I have a very vivid memory about this. She was around 102 years old at the time and I went to see her in Genoa. As usual we started chatting about book suggestions and I asked her what she was reading. She said it was a book in New York, the key characters were a gay couple but she wasn’t recommending it to me as it was a bit too explicit for my tastes. I was in my late 30s at the time, she was 102 and yet too cool to match!’
This is a photo of Cele. She was born in 1912 and died in 2016, aged 104. ‘She was a compulsory collector and I don’t think she ever binned anything! She also kept much from her parents and family members. She had an entire wardrobe dedicated to fabrics. It was the norm at the time to get tailored dresses made for you.’ Mario explained.
I could tell this from the moment I opened the intriguing box of vintage fabrics. Trying to contain my excitement, I peered in to the deep box find neatly folded lengths of fabrics. Some of them still in their luxury paper wrappings, kept together with string. With such a long vibrant life it is difficult to date the fabrics and some could be as old as 1940s but I estimate the majority are dated from the 1960s through to the 1990s. I can tell Cele had exquisite taste. Each piece is such high quality, even the cottons feel like silk.
These fabrics are hidden from my online shop until Friday 26 May 2023 when they will go on genera sale. As a newsletter subscriber you are seeing these fabrics on preview, all of them are unique pieces.
Italian Vintage Fabric Collection
vintage fabric navy linen floral£49.00
Vintage fabric navy crinkle jacquard£40.00
Vintage fabric navy floral jacquard£45.00
vintage fabric beige and blue floral£49.00
Vintage fabric black jacquard£35.00
Grey suiting stripe vintage fabric£25.00
Navy organdie slub stripe fabric£55.00
Polyester 1980s vintage fabric purple floral£21.00
More vintage fabrics from Cele’s collection coming soon. Sign up to my newsletter to shop from the preview, 24 hours before these one off fabrics reach my online shop.
An edit of dressmaking patterns from Maven and Seasons of East, selected to champion vintage fabrics. A range of accessory patterns by Sarah Richards to help use up small pieces of fabric left over from dressmaking.