H&A Fairs: A Talent For Textiles, Masonic Hall, Bradford on Avon

A reunion of passionate textile traders all inspired by the work of Elizabeth Baer

A reunion of passionate textile traders all inspired by the work of Elizabeth Baer

Last Saturday’s A Talent For Textiles hosted a collection of passionate textile traders who have worked together for over two decades. Organised by Linda Clift and Caroline Bushell and held on the doorstep of legendary textile trader Elizabeth Baer’s home, the day was a reunion of sorts as the original traders of ATFT all came together to celebrate a visit from Olga Verschoor who trades in France. ‘We all used to trade at the fairs Olga ran in France and we thought it was high-time we were all under one roof again,’ said Caroline.

Dyer, stitcher and quilt-maker Polly Lister of Dyeworks in Gloucestershire, recalls her early years of trading. ‘I was hugely spurred on by Elizabeth Baer’s encouragement and belief in regenerating old textiles. She helped me sell my first ever piece back in the Nineties,’ she recalled.

Olivia Dell trades in world textiles and folk art and makes these wonderful peg dolls out of vintage and antique textiles to raise money for the Bhopal Medical Appeal.

Loveday James, from Appledore in Devon, was selling to one of her regular customers, upholsterer Joanna Heptinstall, who works just outside Bradford on Avon. Joanna plans to team these pretty embroidered pieces with some Liberty Tana Lawn fabric to cover vintage lampshades. A lovely idea!

The rich pickings of heritage textiles and gorgeous linens at this event made it a maker's paradise. 

And the offering of trimmings, lace and buttons was also hugely inspiring.

On a very blue theme, Sue Meager, who has recently started trading at the Vintage Country Emporium in Somerton, bought some French ticking, chess-check cloth and double-weave English ticking from Rosie Murton.

The day was a wash with inspiring colours, good conversation and the most incredible homemade meringue with freshly-made hedgerow coulis. Perfect.

Do come and visit H&A at a fair near you to buy great homewares, textiles, magazines and subscriptions. Here’s where we’ll be during the remaining weeks of September.

Saturday 21st September, 9.30am-3pm - The Vintage Bazaar, Victoria Halls, Hartley Wintney RG27 8RE

Saturday 21st September, 10.30am-3.30pm - Homemade Heaven & Vintage Style Fair, Knutsford Civic Centre, Toft Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 0PE

Saturday 21st September, 12pm-6pm - Desborough In The 1940s, The Ritz, 7-9 Station Road, Kettering, Desborough, NN14 2RL

Sunday 22nd September, 11am-4pm - Let's Do Vintage, St. Mary's Art Centre, Strand Street, Sandwich, Kent CT13 9HN

Saturday 28th September, 10.30am-4.30pm - Hexham Vintage Fair, The Trinity Centre, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3LS

Saturday 28th September, 10am-4pm - The Vintage & Antiques Fayre, Clarence Hall, Beaufort Street, Crickhowell NP8 1BN

Sunday 29th September, 11am-4pm - The Vintage Home Show, Chiswick Town Hall, London W4 4JN

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