Well, I’m not getting much thinking done in my ‘time out’, but I am having a bit of a rest, which is good. I was fortunate enough to acquire several pieces of antique silk this week, some of it from the eighteenth century, mostly brocade and damask. The silk arrived smelling of mothballs, and a little stiff with dirt and grime, but – oh, what gloriousness… hand stitched seams, patched, darned, worn away by loving hands, holes made by moths and wear – the marks of time, and evidence of a long and happy life. I know opinion is divided on the restoration of old textiles, but here’s what I did… I took a very deep breath and washed it. And do you know what happened? The piece I thought was brown turned out to be the most beautiful pale olive green and yellow. The piece I thought was grey turned out to be cornflower blue. And the piece that seemed beige turned out to be the brightest possible apricot pink. Astonishing. I figured that since I’m keeping these for my own pleasure, and not for their value – I never intend to sell them – it didn’t matter whether I ‘devalued’ them by washing.
What treasure, and what good fortune was mine. Possibly more of this later in the week. I have some recently acquired antique lace too, which is equally captivating.