Tag Archives: Welsh tapestry

Keeping warm in Welsh Tapestry

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It’s February, it’s midwinter and it’s really cold! What needed right now is a stylish warm coat, and my own preference is for wool. I generally opt for natural fabrics, and wool is fabulous as it is superbly warm and breathable too. As with most of my own clothes, I look for a stylish vintage option, and living as I do, in West Wales, I keep a look out for Welsh wool, and in particular for the amazing fabric known as Welsh Tapestry. Welsh Tapestry is not a tapestry at all, but a woven double cloth. It has two distinct patterns, one one each side of the cloth, so it is reversible. Traditionally, Welsh Tapestry was produced for “carthen” , or quilts, heavy double sided bed covers, often fringed at each end. In the mid and late 1800s there were many woollen mills throughout Wales, and particularly here in West Wales. It was also a cottage industry, with processes such as carding, spinning, dyeing and finishing taking place in homes as well as in factories. Other woollen fabrics, like Welsh flannel, were also woven here for clothing. Welsh Tapestry patterns are traditional, but variations are particular to certain mills. The industry went into decline, but was revived in the 1960s, when fashion designers like Mary Quant chose Welsh wool fabrics in bright colours for clothing such as mini skirts, waistcoats, jackets, capes and matching bags.
Today, Vintage Welsh Tapestry quilts and clothes are sought after and collectible. A traditional double cloth quilt will cost around £250-£300, a 1960s coat around £150.
My own collection includes several double cloth quilts. These are fabulously warm and look stunning on a bed. I have also recently bought two incredible capes, a short blue and black one and a full length beige and brown one. I have to say, I love wearing them, and they are warmer than any coat I possess!

Capsule wardrobe ? Update

 

The Capsule wardrobe project is temporarily on hold!  No apologies, I have been working on other things whilst enjoying the unprecedented heat wave! Apart from my garden and vegetable plot, I have been busy taking photographs of new stock for Coolclobber and Floslingerie. We have now had weeks and weeks of hot sunshine, and I have had to eat my words about shorts! It has been too hot to wear much else!

So, here are some of my latest stock items for Coolclobber ⬆ Tap on any photo to enlarge it.

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1960s Vintage, Swinging London, The Summer of Love, Models, Music and Mods.

The Swinging Sixties, as it became know, is synonymous with an explosion of creativity in fashion and music and art, that put Britain on the map as the innovative capital of the world!

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Hermans Hermit, David Bowie.

Pop Art, Op Art, Peter Blake, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Andy Warhol.

Hair….the lacquered beehive…..Vidal Sassoon, the five point bob.

Make-up….eyeliner, false eyelashes, pale lipstick, pale nail varnish.

Over the decade, various styles emerged, and it is possible to find plenty of 60s vintage clothing in good wearable condition.

Themes

Space Age and Futuristic, with  clothes made from plastic, metal or paper and new fabrics.  Lots of white and silver. Helmets, short boots, geometric structure and keyholes, geometric prints.

Designers

André Courrège, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne

The Mini Skirt

Courrège showed above the knee short skirts in the early 60s, however the term Mini skirt is accredited to Mary Quant, who, in the mid sixties, introduced skirts 6/7 inches above the knee. Mary Quant also designed groovy capes, mini skirts, dresses and bags using Welsh tapestry doublecloth in vivid 60s colour combinations.

Designers

Jean Varon, Mary Quant, John Bates, André Courrège.

Biba

The brainchild of designer Barbara Hulanicki, Biba started as a small store in Kensington in 1964, later, in the 70s, moving in to the old Derry and Toms department store in Kensington High St. Biba was a complete look, a distinct style, based on both Biba clothing and Biba make-up. Biba was a “dolly girl” look, big eyed and young.

Designer

Barbara Hulanicki

Flower Power, The Summer of Love.

1967 is known as The Summer of Love, and marks a summer when over 75,000 hippies gathered in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco. 1969 was the year of the Woodstock festival.  The late 1960s is associated with hippie fashion and inspired by American music.

Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Monkees, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, The Mamas & Papas.

Designers

Sandra Rhodes, Celia Birtwell, Ozzy Clark,

Models, Muses & Icons

Twiggy, Penelope Tree, Patti Boyd, Jean Shrimpton, Peggy Moffit, Grace Coddington, Cathy McGowan, Jackie Kennedy, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Mia Farrow, Nancy Sinatra, Sandy Shaw, Twinkle.

Key Pieces

Fingertip length mini dress, mini skirt, skinny rib sweater, ankle or knee high boots, baker boy hat, 3/4 length jacket, the headscarf, sack dress, smock dress, hot pants, palazzo pants, long floaty dress, headband. Welsh tapestry capes, skirts and handbags, the Afghan coat, a bibbity bobbity hat, satin loons.

lots of

crimplene, Tricel, polyester, permapleats, courtelle, acrylic, nylon.

1960s go go dress
1960s go go dress

1960s cocktail dress
1960s brocade cocktail dress

1960s purse, Welsh doublecloth.
1960s Welsh tapestry doublecloth purse

1960s Welsh doublecloth Handbag
1960s Welsh doublecloth handbag

 

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