Sunday, 1 February 2009

A vintage fabric estate purchase...

We have had another wonderful weekend after a very average end to last week. I unfortunately needed to get a gastroscopy as post gallbladder removal by abdomen has been very tender and temperamental. They give you a general anaesthetic for this procedure and while only a little whoozy on the day, the day after was a shocker...seedy, air-head etc. And that was another 40 degree day so and we also lost power here for a bit - so a very average end to the week :)

We took off to Melbourne early on Saturday morning as we had a small vintage fabric estate collection to pick up. I thought I would take some crappy shots to show you what can comprise an estate collection.

Some people get suspicious when you show them two fabrics that come from different eras and say they came from the same estate - I think people are under the impression 'estate' automatically means old and all alike. Estate collections are not like that at all - some are, most aren't.

Hence why I thought I would take shots of this little estate. The lady sold her Mother's collection of fabrics as her Mum had recently been popped into a home and no longer needed them :( - but her daughter wanted them to go to a good home (and eventually to other good homes) so she contacted us in late December to see if we would be interested in purchasing.

The deal was done by email as the lady photographed the fabrics and already had a price in mind. As there were too many metres to post we took Saturday morning off and travelled up to western Melbourne.

As you can see this collection varies both in quality and in era. If you have a fabric stash you'll know what I mean - there are always the 'top shelf' fabrics and the everyday.

Another thing with estate collections is they vary in presentation. Some people are fastidious with their fabrics - folding them inside out (so dust etc can't get onto the printed side) and lock them away from light. Some people store them in air tight containers. Some people shove them in the linen closet and let them lie there for decades.

So the fabrics we collect can vary from pristine condition to in dire need to TLC and a washing machine. This collection had both - some are in remarkable condition, but most have storage marks and shall need to be washed before being offered for sale.

We often get asked how people should store their stash - meaning, what is best for history? We recommend allowing the fabrics to air with mothball/deterents in the area, but actually not touching the fabrics.

We also recommend not washing the fabrics until you want to use them. This is mainly for value purposes. Unused and unwashed vintage fabric is by far more valuable than a washed or used fabric. Unwashed means in as bought condition - ie, stiff, original hand (feel and drape) and with the original ink, as manufactured. It may mean there are storage marks, but at least the fabric vitality is still there.

Do we buy washed vintage fabric? It depends. If they are part of an estate collection (ususually bought as a whole), then, yes. But if we have a choice, then no, we usually don't. We come across so many people who offer us fabrics and who have washed the fabric (sometimes in bleach, sometimes in the most perfumed soap they can find etc) and we pass up on the sale as the fabrics just don't have that life that original, non washed fabric does.

I'll leave you with the photos to look at - there is a lot more to say on estate collections but we have a five-year-old gearing up for Prep (primary school) tomorrow so I am all alive and excited getting his things ready...he is so ready, so excited, so can't believe I am a big boy. I am so proud of him :) - so, no vintage fabric for the remainder of the night or tomorrow morning, just the thoughts on how far Logan has come in five years, how far we have come as parents and just being thankful for the life and love we have :)

A special best wishes for all you Mums and Dads out there with children starting Prep this year - I hope the first day of school is wonderful and full of special memories!

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