Textiles

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VINTAGE TEXTILES

Vintage textiles in the household can refer to anything from linens for the table to throw pillows on the couch to draperies for the bedroom. Antique textiles are produced in a variety of different ways and come in an array of colors, textures and designs. Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of vintage textiles.

TYPES OF VINTAGE TEXTILES

There are four main sources from which vintage textiles can be made from: animal, mineral, plant and synthetic. They are many different variations in terms of strengths and degrees of durability with used textiles, ranging from the finest gossamer to the strongest canvas. The thickness of cloth fibers is measured in deniers, and any vintage textile made from strands thinner than one denier is referred to as microfiber.

Animal: Animal textiles are generally made from the fur or hair of animals. An example of this would be wool, which is made from the hairs of a domestic goat or sheep. This warm material goes through a unique process while being created, leaving it waterproof and dirt-proof. The soft textile, known as cashmere, is born from the hair of the Indian cashmere goat. Known for its luxury, silk is another animal textile. This piece of textile is made from the fibers the Chinese silkworm’s cocoon and spun into shiny, smooth fabric.

Mineral: Metal fibers can be made into the “cloth-of-gold” fabric, which is a fabric made of golden threads, woven together with silk or wool. Textiles with the addition of these fibers are sure to have a vintage flare.

Plant: Cotton is the most common of the plant-based fabrics. The cotton fibers can be used to create a number of different textile products such as terrycloth, denim, corduroy and twill. Cotton is also used to make yarn to be used in knitting or crocheting. While cotton itself is quite common, even more common is a cotton blend, which is the addition of synthetic fibers to the fabric.

Synthetic: There are many types of synthetic textiles, and they are all man-made. Some of the better-known synthetic fibers are polyester, acrylic, nylon and spandex. Polyester can either stand by itself or be blended with other fibers, such as cotton. Acrylic is often used in place of wool or cashmere. Nylon is used to imitate silk. Spandex is known for its stretchiness and is most commonly found in active wear and swimsuits.

PRODUCTION & TREATMENTS OF VINTAGE TEXTILES

Even the simplest of fabrics should not be taken for granted, as there was a lot that went into their production and treatment.

Weaving: The textile production method known as weaving is created by interlacing vertical threads (the warp) with horizontal threads (the weft). Using a loom, this process is mostly done by machines, although hand weaving is sometimes still done.

Knitting and crocheting: This type of textile production involves interlacing loops of yarn together in a line. These loops are created either with a knitting needle or crochet hook. The difference between the two processes is as follows: knitting involves several active loops at once, and crocheting only has one active loop at a time.

Braiding and Knotting: A braid is made up of the twisting of three individual threads together into a cloth. Knotting is made by tying threads together, such as in the making of macramé.

Lace: Lace is made by interlocking threads together using a backing and any of the methods previously described. This creates a fine fabric with open holes and is the perfect vintage fabric for any room.

Carpets, Rugs, Velvet, Velour and Velveteen: Creating these textiles involves interlacing a second piece of yarn through a woven cloth, which creates a tufted layer called a nap or pile.

TEXTILE PRODUCTS

Linens: To complete any dining room with a truly unique look, try adding a vintage, secondhand table runner or tablecloth. A cotton, woven tablecloth with fringe on the edges would pair perfectly with a boldly dyed, hand-embroidered cloth napkin. The delicate touch of the embroidery is sure to add a vintage vibe to the space. Make sure to have a few different colors and patterns on hand for the changing seasons and holidays!

Pillows: Throw pillows can add a pop of color or unique pattern to an otherwise boring couch or bed. Mix-matching different shapes, colors and designs is sure to take any room in the house from blah to ta-da.

Draperies: Antique drapes are great ways to add style to any space. Pair vintage, patterned drapes with a neutral paint color for easy design changes in the future, or pair subtle drapes with a bold accent color for a personalized look.

Adding vintage textiles to every significant space in your house is sure to give any room a stylish look. Remember to not be afraid to go bold with types of fabrics, colors or designs!

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