Tag Archives: Bolivian textiles

  • Matchmaking Bolivia and France

    Posted on 17/08/2012 by A Rum Fellow

     

    We are back home and the projects are rolling, remember the stunning hand woven vintage zig zag fabric from Bolivia? Well, it met a 1950's French chair and they're getting on very nicely.

    Arriving back to grey raining London and hearing the horror stories of the summer which had yet to arrive was a bit of a jolt. However our spirits were lifted by the lovely faces we had missed, and the boxes of beautiful South American fabrics showing up one by one. It would be an understatement to say we were 'chomping at the bit' to get into the long list of projects we dreamed up and sketched out whilst we were away. It even seemed like the greyness outside only made the fabrics look more amazing.

     

     

    This stylish mid century French chair and it's partner from a previous trip to the continent had been waiting patiently at home for us and oh did we have some Bolivian loving to give them.

     

      

     

    At roughly the ripe old age of 60 the chair frames had some story telling love marks and I didn't want to loose these, for one I love a good story, and these guys have serious character. However the thick varnish of mid century style was tired, so I stripped them right down to the natural wood, and then oiled them back to life keeping some characterful stories in tack.

    The original seats were filled with grass which is quite typical of French upholstery, but having kidnapped them to (now) sunny England, I used Coir (coconut hair) instead. The Coir retained in bridle ties gives a good solid and comfy covering for the hardy original springs which were so powerful they had actually made the old chairs quite uncomfortable.

    The beautiful hand embroidered arrowhead join has taken pride of place down the centre of both the seats with the original outside border sitting at the top of the seat backs. As tradition in the 1950s the under side of these seats had been finished with staples but as the hand woven fabric had set a high status, the idea of staples here seemed conflicting. Instead I decided to take them back in time a little more and used decorative tacks to mark the completion. One of the telling signs of a hand woven fabric is the loom set up rows at the start of a panel. In South America these were a couple of inches using all the colours in a mini stripe testing them out, checking they worked together and setting the tension. I loved the thinking and planning which must have gone into these rows before the weaver launched into the next month of weaving on this one piece. So as not to loose this history I kept a section of this at opposite back corners of each chair (shown in the photo above).

    This matched up pair are now available on our new website here.

     

     

     


    This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Bolivian textiles, french chair, mid century chair, upholstery

  • Along came the machine

    Posted on 04/06/2012 by A Rum Fellow

    After falling all over the amazing craftsmanship of hand loomed textiles in Bolivia, the machine made pieces are just not in the same league.

    ..but let's not judge too hastily.

    They are stunning none the less. Soak them in without comparing, and they are undeniably eye catching in their ray of colours and busy detail, rich with traditional Quecha icons of condors and coca leaves intricately woven in. Yes, we fell for them.

    Well, we couldn't say no. So we've rounded up a proud pile of these with some projects in mind. Some are indeed the perfect size for throwing down in Victoria park for Olympic picnics.

    This is how it goes down in textile town... the vender cutting the deal with superior technology to us- a calculator over our leaky pen and paper.


    This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with Bolivia, Bolivian textiles, condors, Machine textiles, machine weaving, stripes, Sucre market

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