The reuse of vintage materials and the revaluation through recycling of design from earlier times (fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties) is a big trend at the moment. You see it in interiors with the focus on vintage, vintage-look, rhetoric-inspired prints and shapes … but also in fashion. I would like to share here some of the labels, people and initiatives that appeal to me. And I end with a project in which I recycled an old, lacy tablecloth myself.
Recycling means re-use. Recycling is about recovering raw materials from waste and making them fit for use again
Vintage Materials get New Purpose
For years, I have been in close contact with the brain behind Fruffel, Ageeth Jak. We got to know each other during a course and turned out to have a lot of similar interests. We shared knowledge and ideas about sewing and patterns, discussed technically difficult issues, brainstormed about concepts for the commercial application of our knowledge and had a lot of laughs at the same time. A wonderful combination.
Partly thanks to this period, we both found our personal passion. Ageeth’s passion was processing textile materials with a special meaning for people into personal objects. Think for example of making a quilt of baby clothes, or processing the clothes of a deceased family member into a cushion for the sofa. A way of keeping precious memories alive and tangible.
Pinterest: a Place to Find Ideas
In my opinion, the best source for recycling projects is Pinterest. This platform allows you to quickly collect ideas for reusing materials. I do that on my mood board with the title ‘Re-and Upcycling Clothes’.
From Denim to Couture
The glitz and glamour of beautiful embroidery, made-to-measure clothing and festive red-carpet dresses may seem to be in stark contrast to a trend of recycling, but … here too, you see a change. Eco-labels like to work with used textiles. Old pieces of lace are given a new life, special bead necklaces are detached and reused in embroidery … The possibilities of giving vintage materials a new life are endless.
In the Netherlands, which is a country of no-nonsense clothing anyway, old post bags and jeans are already being used extensively. It is trendy to work with old or discarded materials. That this doesn’t have to stop at making bags and cushions, designers like Jan Taminiau (mailbag jacket worn by princess Máxima in 2009) and Ronald van der Kemp has already been amply proven
Van der Kemp mentions it on his website as follows:
From ‘New ethics in luxury fashion’
Creating a sustainable demi-couture wardrobe presented twice a year during Paris Couture Week. Curating a mix of high quality existing materials; high-end leftover stock, vintage couture fabrics, production discards and re-purposed materials for an exiting eclectic mix.
During a holiday in Denmark I came across work by Maibritt Kokholm. She makes special evening and bridal wear from old lace dresses, slip dresses, old fur coats and old haberdashery. The results are fairy-tale like and my daughter and I have looked breathlessly at the beautiful creations. Sometimes she works with the original colour, sometimes the materials are dyed in a subtle dégradé.
A round tablecloth … Boring and old-fashioned? Or is it trendy? Judge for yourself.
Do you have interesting ideas for recycling textiles and haberdashery? Share them with us and write a comment below this blog post.
Saskia ter Welle’s programme of workshops, master classes and training courses is aimed at fashion professionals who are looking for an opportunity to specialise in couture techniques. In the courses, a balance is sought between technique and inspiration, between knowledge and skill and artistic expression. Discovering one’s own handwriting is seen as crucial to the distinctive craftsmanship of each course participant.