H&A visits Honiton Textiles Fair in Devon

Alice Roberton enjoys some weekday making inspiration


Alice Roberton enjoys some weekday making inspiration
There are many reasons to visit the Devon town of Honiton. First, it has fabulous antiques shopping - crafts queen Kirstie Allsopp will vouch for that. Second, the town has a fascinating lace-making and pottery heritage. And third, its regular Honiton Textiles Fair  is a delight as textile traders converge to sell gorgeous linens, lace, quilts, blankets, ribbons, buttons and all manner of tempting vintage trimmings. It's heaven for makers, including Katie May, who was in search of bits and bobs for making unusual headpieces. She found just the inspiration she was looking for on Liz Van Hasselt's stand.
Another satisfied maker was Ellie Goodridge whose hoard included this gorgeous button necklace. Ellie has a showroom at the De Danann Antique Centre in Dorchester, Dorset as well as being a vintage and handmade blogger.
I absolutely loved this duck egg blue 1950s cashmere, over-beaded cardigan on Caroline Bushell’s stand. Caroline can be found at Fountain Antiques in Honiton and is also the co-organiser of Talent For Textiles, a regular event which was inspired by the work of south-west textiles legend Elizabeth Baer.
There was an abundance of pretty and unusual haberdashery to inspire the novice or professional maker, with many pieces coming from France and beyond.
I had a nice chat with traders Lizzie Drake and Linda Clift (the other organiser of the Talent For Textiles events) who enjoy a good working friendship. ‘Our taste overlaps perfectly so we started trading together a while ago,' says Lizzie. 'We travel to France to buy much of our stock and it works really well.'
I have a soft spot for old suitcases - and these certainly looked fabulous filled with lovely old sepia photos, textile remnants and silk scarves.
If you're looking for more vintage and handmade inspiration, do come along to the Vintage & Handmade Textile & Fashion Fair at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire on 23rd February. We'll be there! 
Four fairs for the weekend
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