Tips for vintage curtains and textiles

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If you have been following us for a while you probably realise we flipping love a door curtain. I love lace and chenille ones especially, although I have a lovely set of cotton ones waiting to go up too at the minute. This is something that started for us really when we started buying and collecting antiques and vintage textiles. We have boxes and boxes of them and admittedly I am not sure yet what they are all for but Im sure one day there will be a plan.

 

Door curtains were a way of starting to use a few more of these pieces. Many of the chenille door curtains we have in stock and at home were originally meant to be for doors but a lot of the lace pieces are ofter originally for windows or even table cloths. Any piece of fabric that is big enough and not insanely heavy I have had a go at hanging up.

 

Things I look for in a chenille curtain is that is still feel nice, if they are really dirty they can get a little stiff so I entirely stay away from those ones. But I'm open to ones that are not perfect, whether they are discoloured or have slight holes seems to still really appeal to me as they show their history.

We always hand wash the fabrics on a day where we can hang them outside to dry, the last thing they need is to be a little damp.

Lace is amazing for both doors and windows and one of my favourite things to find. However it does not work in every room. In our bedroom for example I tried lace and it was just a little too much. (Its quite over the top as it is). In here we have layered an antique set of velvet curtains to the outside of the window alongside an antique silk pelmet and inside we wanted linen. We often don't find vintage linen curtains and for here we bought the ikea ones as we knew they had a great colour that would work. Having the linen base really works for us. We could buy as many as we needed - with vintage pieces you are lucky to find any more than a pair. Also they feel great, are not expensive and give a really soft feel to the room. The other high street place I would recommend for linen curtains would be la redoute. They are a little more expensive but have a great colour selection and they also do extra long ones which is super handy if you have huge windows.

 

I had been obsessed with kitchens with curtains rather than cupboards for quite a while so when we moved here I knew it was what I wanted to do. It took a while to find the perfect curtains. I found three of these thick woven early early 20th century curtains at a flea market and cut them all down and sewed the hems to make them fit the spaces. The original curtains had quite a lot of holes in but I patched them all up and also meant the curtains only cost £5!

I kind of ran out of material for this bit

Since doing the kitchen curtains there is a few things I have learnt about where to get certain things and also get asked a lot about how we hang our curtains so below I have made a little list of what we use.

Curtain Clips

I tend to use clips, partly because I change ours so often to photograph stock but also because then you can hang any piece of fabric without giving it a curtain edging.

 

We used clips in the kitchen and it made things so much easier, I could just hem the fabric into large square then clip it into place rather than fitting a curtain edging. I made sure to get the heights of the curtain right for the gap and almost doubled the amount of fabric for the width so it could sit pleated rather than flat. 

The extra bonus of clips is that if your curtain is a touch to long you can always just clip it up a bit higher. Our lace hallway curtain I give a little decorative swag to the extra fabric that is too long.

We mostly buy our hoops and clips from ikea but also have bought gold ones from eBay.

Curtain Rods

Obviously you can buy curtain rods and rails in most sizes but often we find we want something a little more delicate and to be honest less ornate and not plastic.

We often use 14mm wood dowl rod from B & Q

For doors we have started using antique brass stair rods. Wide ones seem to be pretty perfect for doors and they look amazing too. 

 

Fittings

My favourite thing to use to fit the stair rods or dowl is plumbers munsen rings. They are gold in colour an each just need two screws to fit. You can get the in a few sizes but we ten to use the 15mm ones.

I learnt after hunting around to not buy them from B&Q as they cost the earth there. I think its about £6 for two. You can buy a pack of ten from screwfix, (but the back and fronts do come separately.

Obviously buying antique curtain rails is great too and we have one up at home now and one more waiting to go up. They are not always easy to find though at the measurements you need.

Hopefully this helps and will inspire you to clip up that quite holey but beautiful table cloth in a doorway and see how it looks 

Cass x x

 

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