If you haven’t been into a fabric store recently, especially one that carries mainly printed cottons, you might be really surprised at the huge selection of prints. There are novelty prints for every hobby and cartoon character and animal. There are prints for baby, for John Deere drivers, and football fans. There are hundreds of “retro” prints, some that could easily pass for real vintage.
I actually have a few pieces in my fabric stash that I honestly can’t say what the ages of them are. Sometimes the width is a clue. The above pink and red (and awesome) print is 35 inches wide. The width is a hint, but not a guarantee that the fabric is older than last week. I do know that this piece is vintage because it came with an original label.
Isn’t the detailing something?
This piece is also vintage. It is a border print, and it may look like one side of a tablecloth, but it is cotton broadcloth, and was perfect for aprons, gathered skirts, and dresses for little girls.
This is a piece of cotton flannel that I bought from etsy several years ago. It was sold as vintage, and the fabric is 35 inches wide, but I’ve never been 100% sure that it is vintage. I’d like to think it is from 1960 or so. I adore that script font.
I’d like to add that none of these fabrics have information printed on the selvage. Most modern prints that I’ve looked at in the past five years or so do have a printed selvage. “Designer” fabrics are a very big deal in the quilting and crafting world, and many have the designer’s name and even the name of the print.
And finally, here’s another mystery fabric to ponder. I have two eighteen inch squares of this print that I bought at my not so secret shopping place about five years ago. They are edged by an overlock stitch, which might lead one to think they were meant to be napkins. However, the thread is an ugly grey.
If this is a contemporary print, then the designer got a lot of things right. The font looks vintage, as do the colors. The use of the harlequin type diamond print on the packages looks vintage. The stylized Christmas trees with the atomic shapes look vintage. I could go on, but you get the point. It’s almost like every vintage Christmas cliche in thrown into one print. Too good to be true? It won’t hurt my feelings if you think it is new.