A Talent For Textiles, Poundbury, Dorset

By Alice Roberton,
20th July 2013 - 00:26

Textile enthusiasts descended on the Duchy of Cornwall's purpose built town for some brocante-style shopping

Founded in the 1990s by a group of passionate textile dealers based in the south-west, A Talent for Textiles was inspired by the work of renowned textile collector Elizabeth Baer. Nowadays, organisers Linda Clift and Caroline Bushall stage fairs that offer the best in specialist vintage and antique textiles, lace, wool, costume and trimmings from Britain, mainland Europe and the far east.
Dealer Liz Van Hasselt, aka The Washerwoman, sold this rather lovely late 1890s Parisian mannequin bust to Elvie Darling of Rook and Hare, who describes herself as a ‘pedlar of the unusual and unexpected’.
Friends Hazel Lappin, Debora Mannion and Yvette Cheeseman were spoilt for choice and were admiring this vintage French bedspread when I spotted them.
Shop owner Ali Sharland, of Sharland & Lewis, came early to be able to snap up the bargains and went home with some pristine linen grain sacks and a stoneware pot from Old Albion. Ali was also inspired by the large cushions we featured in our July issue: ‘I might have some made for my shops,’ she said.
Collectors, makers and vintage bloggers Emma Robinson of The Vanilla Squirrel and Ashley Cramp of Lazy Daisy Jones were in their element at the fair picking up quirky fabrics and trimmings. 
Hazel Newman, from The Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter, introduced me to the art of Welsh quilting and blanket weaving. I'm now very tempted to pay them a visit. ‘As well as the centre’s owner Jen Jones showing her extensive collection, we hold a yearly exhibition. Our current one is of Kaffe Fassett’s amazing work, which runs until November,’ said Hazel.
Miranda Farquharson farms 250 Manx sheep, the largest flock outside of the Isle of Man, and produces the most gorgeous blankets, shawls and sheepskins - perfect for summer evenings around the camp fire.
With the breeze coming through the cloisters of the open-sided building, I loved the continental brocante feel of the fair and Sharon Bradley from Old Albion had just the right stock to give the day a lovely touch of authenticity.
Here’s where you’ll find H&A throughout August, do come along and say hello, pick up the latest issue or treat yourself to a subscription.
Sunday 11th August, 11am-4pm - Blighty Boutique Vintage and Handmade Fair, Hatton Park Village Hall, Barcheston Drive, Warwickshire, CV35 7TR
Saturday 17th August, 10am-3pm - For the Love of Vintage, Saltburn Arts Village Hall, Albion Terrace, Saltburn by the Sea, Redcar & Cleveland, TS12 1JW
Saturday 24th August, 10am-4pm - The Cotswolds Vintage Fair, Toddington Village Hall, Stow Road, Toddington, Gloucestershire, GL54 5DU
Saturday 24th August, 12pm-4pm - Northampton Vintage Fair & Late Summer Garden Party, The Spinny Hill, Kettering Road, Northampton, NN3 6LR
Saturday 24th August, 10.30am-4.30pm - Newcastle does Vintage, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, NE1 6BR
Saturday 31st August, 9.30am-3pm - The Vintage Bazaar in Devizes, The Corn Exchange, Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1BN
Lovely landscape walks at Strawberry Hill House
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Guildhall Vintage & Antiques Fair, Birstall, Leicester
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