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Curtain materials

This post is mainly an aide memoire for myself, and a convenient way of showing my Mum what kinds of designs I do and don't like. So the post is really addressed to her: others feel free to ignore if you wish, or comment if you want to! The context is that I'm going for an Art Nouveau look in my new flat, since it's in a building originally constructed in 1903, and this is what I've established so far by browsing online for suitable curtain materials.

Likes: An overall light appearance, large patterns, floral-based designs, dusky pinks or purples, creams or ivories (for backgrounds) and greens (for flower stalks), not too many competing colours in one fabric. Blues are also acceptable, but pinks / purples preferred. Rennie Mackintosh-type designs actually seem to meet these criteria more often than Mucha-style ones, and while I still prefer the latter overall, the former are actually perfectly acceptable if it means getting the kind of colours I want for a reasonable price.

Dislikes: Fabrics which are too dark, lots of competing colours, overly fussy patterns, any shades of brown, beige or gold (too 'Nanna-ish'), patterns which are too naturalistic and not very symmetrical, anything Arts & Crafts-y.

Examples of both (nabbed from all over the place with no consideration of cost - actually often astronomical):

GoodBad


Realistically: I can order samples of the following two designs from Sherwood Fabrics in Great Malvern. The one on the left costs £19.90 a metre, and the one on the right costs £23.90 and is available in a variety of colour combinations. Of course, we might find something much nicer by browsing in fabric shops in Leeds - but what do you reckon?



And finally: OMG, see this?

You'll have realised by now that this fabric pretty much hits all the buttons on my 'hate' list. It isn't really Art Nouveau at all, but Arts and Crafts (did I mention I hate Arts & Crafts?). But I just thought you should know I came across one pair of vintage curtains in this material, with a drop of 1m 97 and a width of 2m 40, being sold for £325! Tell Dad to look after his set!

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
avaritia
Aug. 20th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
I've got some big pieces of cream, gold and red, with bits of green stalk, art nouveauish/Rennie Mackintosh fabric sitting around - they had been £40 a metre and were reduced to £10 a metre in a sale (or something like that - I bought them 2 or 3 years ago). I've never made them into curtains or cushions, but they were too much of a bargain for me not to buy.

Would you like them?
strange_complex
Aug. 20th, 2006 09:54 pm (UTC)
Oh - they do sound nice! Mind you, I have a lot of windows in that flat, and I do want all the curtains to match if possible. You probably don't have enough for that... but a few cushions in the right style would always be nice too.

It sounds like the material isn't going anywhere as far as you're concerned, anyway, so how about I see what I find for myself, and I'll get back to you if I'm interested? I'd of course cover what you paid for it if I did use it.
avaritia
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:02 pm (UTC)
You're right there wouldn't be enough for all the windows, but it could be fine for making other furnishings. I was going to use it in my flat in Edinburgh, but never got around to it. Chris' house in Sheffield is more 1980's rather than 1890's, so I'm not planning on using it here.

Let me know how your hunt progresses. I can always bring it over sometime, if you'd like it.
strange_complex
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
OK, thanks - that's really kind.
ex_lark_asc
Aug. 20th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I think that's going to be very tasteful! And you're so lucky having a good fabric shop near you. I've only got John Lewis and Ebay :[

I can't believe what "vintage" home furnishing fabrics go for these days though. There's a wonderful old print which may even be one of Liberty's less tasteless ones that turns up in some photos of me when I was young; I'd love to get hold of some, but it'd cost me a fortune..
strange_complex
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't actually have a good fabric shop near me now - everything in this post I just found by browsing online. But I should be well-served in Leeds, given that the town has a history as a textiles centre.

And indeed - the brown fabric at the bottom of my post is something my parents bought to fit up their house in the 1970s. So I would say it wasn't really 'vintage' at all. But that and others like it are being sold at incredible prices here.
ex_lark_asc
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
Gosh. Of course I was a small child at the tab-end of the 70s, and looking at some of those fabrics I think the one I'm thinking of is actually either a William Morris one or a knock-off of it, just on a black bacground rather than all those wishy-washy beiges. It reminds me a lot of the Golden Lily one..
ex_lark_asc
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
Mmm..a lot like this one... I wonder if my uncle knows, I think he took the leftover fabric off my mum in the end..
strange_complex
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
Hmm - I don't seem to be allowed by the server to look at that link, I'm afraid... :(
strange_complex
Aug. 20th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
It's quite likely - the Golden Lily one seems to have come in a variety of different colour blends. But, like I say, most of them were clearly made up in the 70s from old William Morris designs - which I don't think really justifies the price-tags on that page!
kantti
Aug. 21st, 2006 07:41 am (UTC)
I love Arts and Crafts. :) I keep meaning to make myself up some cushions for my lounge, but the fabrics are so expensive that I keep putting it off. I don't think the expense is restricted to any particular style, though - all upholstery fabric is extortionately expensive, in my experience.
strange_complex
Aug. 21st, 2006 07:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, there's that too...
sashajwolf
Aug. 21st, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
Mmm, you're making me want to decorate my room! I've always loved Mackintosh since I was first introduced to him (I don't think my grandfather gave me much choice in the matter - he was a very proud Glaswegian).
strange_complex
Aug. 21st, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Ooh, look at that lovely tile! Yes, I'm looking forward to the interior decor aspect of it all.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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