Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Patchwork Paradise - scrips & scraps of printed cottons from Breton Peasant Dresses

One of my favourite French dealers has tastes very similar to mine, and when she mentioned she had a bundle of French peasant scraps that I may like, my reply was: Yes Please!!!
She has been saving up these scrips & scraps of fabric for a while now with the intention of using them to repair peasant dresses that she often comes across on her travels, but has finally realised she doesn't have the time for this worthy activity. Most date to around 1930, some later, some earlier, and are of various weights, some wool, most cotton, all printed in stripes, spots, florals and geometric patterms, at once simple, yet elegant. I am told it all comes from Brittany, and was used to make cheap and cheerful, but hardwearing peasant clothing and some household textiles in the Breton region of France. How contemporary the patterns look! I think these pieces would be a quilters paradise, all of the patterns and shades are beautifully sympathetic.

I have photographed a selection of the wonderful scraps, a detail of a very faded peasant skirt from my collection, the backing of a hand embroidered rug from the region, also from my collection, and some wonderful images found courtesy of Google. Please click on each photo to see the detail.


  1. What a wonderful post!! I love the fabrics with the photos. It is the perfect match for the two. How lucky you were to be able to buy these. Are you going to sell any on your site? What a treasure they would be for quilters.

  2. I am glad you like the post Phyllis, I really enjoyed linking the photos of fabric with the other pics! I shall try to do more of this in future, as it helps to see the historical context. I will be listing the fabrics in quilting batches soon, when I get a little time! I hope you are well, all the best, Lois xx