Some of the very best vintage feedsack designs are those that were designed for babies and small children. To look at this photo, you might think that is what I’m showing. But take a closer look.
This is actually a cotton flannel, and it is not vintage. It’s still really cute.
Since we were talking about the blurred lines between old fabrics, and those that are meant to look old I wanted to show this relatively recent fabric and the print in the selvage.
Copyright Judie Rothermel for Marcus Bros. Textiles, Inc. 1930’s
A quick google reveals that Ms. Rothermel is a textile designer who seems to specialize in “fabric reproductions.” In order for it to be a true reproduction, it has to be a copy or a duplicate of an original. I suspect that these fabrics are actually adaptations of old fabrics, and not faithful reproductions. At any rate, they look “vintage-y” enough that without the selvage they could fool people who are not experts on 1930s prints. And that includes me.
This is just another case of how difficult telling old from new has become. People who handle this type of thing a lot would not be fooled, but I suspect that after a few washings this fabric is going to look even more vintage.
If you have not been in a large fabrics store in recent years, especially one that deals in quilting cottons, you might be very surprised at the huge variety of prints that are designed to look vintage. If you are familiar with the graphics of an era, say the early Sixties, then you will see that there are things that often give the new designs away. Sometimes the colors have been updated, or they tend to deal with themes that we in 2014 have assigned to an era, such as martini glasses for the early Sixties.
I’m not saying that these fabrics are bad, but it really does pay to be aware of the new, even when collecting the old.
In the 1970s laws were passed that require that the sleepwear of small children be made of fire-retardant fabrics. Personally, I can’t imagine for what one would use a warm,soft fabric printed with little bunnies except sleepwear. I wonder how many rebellious mommies out there have ignored the selvage and made junior’s jammies from fabric not impregnated with fire-retardant chemicals.