spectacular cloth – 18th century textiles

crimson antique textiles

Can you imagine – the hands that wove and embroidered them, the rooms they decorated and moved through?  I am mesmerized by these textiles – most from the 1700’s – the vermeer yellow velvets below are 17th or 18th century – the goldenrod piece with gold lame roses is French 19th century.

vermeer yellow textiles

 antique textiles

antique blue textiles

The colors are intense and I wish you could feel the texture – the weaves are thick and tight. I wondered if they would be sewable and they are – amazing. They came as a complete surprise –  I have remarkably good luck in the fabric department  – this was an incredibly generous gift from Trish Allen  of Trouvais  – a collector’s shop of rare and special early textiles – lovely, inspiring treasures – the antique ballet costumes – oh my.

18th century textiles

The box has been here for weeks and I take them all out and look at them almost everyday.  I only photographed a few things today – I might show you some more tomorrow – along with a new creature I’m working on. I started my first project today – a french blue songbird made from an embroidered 18th century silk.  Next will be mosquitos and I think something botanical.

And speaking of songbirds – a new crew of Fortuny birds – here they are discussing some important songbird issues.

fortuny songbirds

fortuny songbirds


  1. Wonderful bits of fabric, I would love to touch them. My only suggestion for sewing is to stabilize them with muslin when you sew, in order to take some of the stress off the seams.

  2. Agree with Maggie. Can also use a very fine soft tulle (silk) over the top surface to protect it from further wear from handling. They do this to precious clothing and curtains.

  3. O wow, just stunning, and you will turn them into something that befits their beauty and history :o)

  4. Lesley Forrest

    Utterly mouthwatering colours! Just reading “Poldark” so currently seeped in 18th century.

  5. Beautiful fabrics! Hard to cut into them but can’t wait to see some of the creations you come up with!! The ladies who went before us certainly enjoyed some lovely fabrics!!

  6. Yvonne McDonald

    Deeply, deeply jealous of all those gorgeous fabrics! Would have to have a serious talk to myself before I could cut into them though. Hope you make glorious things with them.

  7. Leilani K-Allison

    Loved the wonderful fabric but to cut them into small pieces for “little things” seems to be a sacrilege! As to “Perr . . . Work (things)! Very bizarre!

  8. Oh, I would have to make something with them. It is how they live on…in beautiful songbirds and other wondrous creatures.

  9. Oh dear, now I am embarrassed – I just left a comment on the amazing mechanical work Ann Wood and Dean ___? make – I was led to their YouTube video via searching you, but now I realize that is a different Ann Wood? Apologies! (I once got a slew of fan mail complementing me on my wonderful beadwork sculptures…I don’t do bead work sculptures, apparently there is another Melissa Hubbell who does)

    Regardless of my faux pas, I am still a long time admirer of your work. When I get my little boat done I’ll post it to the Flicker site!

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