Friday, March 4, 2011

Rags to Riches in the Chateau Dumas Giveaway

“I never knew you could have so much fun with an old tea towel” commented one participant on our last Reinventing Vintage Textiles workshop at Chateau Dumas! Upcycling is a key element of the week and you need a good nose for unearthing market bargains. The French word is “chiner” – which we might translate as to dig, trawl or rummage for antiques.

Amazingly, 19th century hand-loomed cotton and linen sheets as well as the classic red-stripe tea towel are still available in French markets and can be bought for just a few euros. Okay, they might be threadbare in parts and have a few cobweb-fine darns but that just adds to their beauty, and the hems and seams are a masterpiece of tiny Liliputian handstitches. It’s easy to discard the sections that are too far gone and upcycle the good bits into bags or cushions – and this is where Ros Badger , the tutor, really shows her skills.

It’s always satisfying to incorporate a hand-embroidered initial into your work – the French traditionally used red thread to embroider their initials. (I probably shouldn’t admit to this here because it makes me sound a bit obsessive, but I have a collection of 35 nineteenth century linen convent nightdresses each handsewn and with different initials).

There’s always a lot of excitement on woad-dyeing day as virtually everything ends up in the vat – even teddy got the blue treatment last time!

Chrissie’s asked me to tell you about our painting workshops next, but if your desire to join a Reinventing Textile workshop is really needling you then register your interest in the comment box at the bottom of this blog (just say which creative workshop you would like to attend from any of those on the Chateau Dumas website
You can Like us on facebook for more information too http://www.facebook/ChateauDumas.  Prize draw for one free workshop place on 1 April – stay tuned for more info and the final result!

Thanks Lizzie and don't forget to leave a comment  here or on the original post  for your chance to win a workshop place.  
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