“Aren’t you worried that they will be stained and ruined?” is the first question I am asked about renting vintage textiles. Most of these beautiful handmade pieces have been relegated to boxes in basements and passed over in linen cabinets because of this concern. The trick to most stain removal is a mixture of impatience and patience. Put them in the wash the minute you get your hands on them and usually the most stubborn grease or blueberry stain will just come right off. Patiently check each piece when it comes out of the first wash for any lasting stains and treat each one according to the offending material. For most stains it is just a matter of addressing them correctly with the right stain removal technique. I am thrilled my collection of vintage textiles are receiving the use they deserve. In the end the fabric will stain and start to degrade and then they can start their next lives as patches, rags, pillow cases, towels and other useful but less perfect objects.
Using natural and unique fibers is core to my practice as a textile designer. They can set the mood and bring a space alive. So often polyester and hyper processed fabrics are placed under the most natural organic foods at the dinner table. Linen is not only environmentally cleaner but it is elegant. These fabrics can create a range of atmospheres from intimate and homey to classic and sophisticated. These have covered tables in both barns and banquet halls. For many events, a large part of what the participants see will be the cloth cover the tables, why not make them elegant and lovely?
The combination of formal training and travel furnishes my insight into the world of textiles. My house and life have been filled with handmade materials. Since I was a child I’ve acquired countless textile techniques so I look at these handmade gems with respect for the hundreds of hours that were invested. Some of the pieces I rent took the artist over a year to complete. These are priceless, but even so, you can get them for a pretty good price.