Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Old Reds

I love the color of dusty, old red - I think it's my favorite color. It's not easy to find these days as most reds are printed with a vibrant hue - and the old look is hard to reproduce. Walking through the flea markets in France, I search out the pile of old fabric that has been discarded for trash - there is usually one at every market. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I will find the scrap of color I am looking for. Many times it is part of an old curtain that has been faded, water damaged or even burned.
There is a dealer in Toulouse, an old farmer with few teeth and a wild smile, he packs his van with boxes and boxes of old linen sheets, 19th century paper bags and old farm tools. Last summer he brought a pile of textile scraps, probably dug out of an abandoned home. These little pieces of history were bought up immediately by myself, packed away and shipped off to French General in California. The farmer laughed and laughed - he couldn't believe that I actually paid him for the old scrap pile. When I finally got home and went through the pile, I found exactly what I was looking for: a small remnant of old faded red fabric - just big enough for me to make a lavender pillow. I can't wait to run into the farmer and his scrap pile again this summer.

2 comments:

molly said...

one mans "junk"....

Pigtown-Design said...

I was at a lecture about Maison Jansen last night and the curator was talking about a house MJ did where they took red silk damask and let it lie in fields over the summer. When it had faded to a pale yellow, they 'papered' the walls with it!