Selvedged stitches from Transylvania

It’s been a while since I’d visited the rolling countryside area of Bath; Selvedge Magazine opened its doors to a room full of vibrant and colourful cloth merchants and artisanal makers on a fine Spring weekend. The Bath Assembly Rooms are an ornate and gorgeous Georgian dwelling and home to the Bath Fashion Museum which holds a world-class collection of contemporary and historic dress; just the place for discovering beautiful fabric remnants. On route to Bennett Street I spotted the glint of an open worked lace panel hanging in the window decorated with glass chandelier pendants.

Glass chandelier pendants, the light played beautifully.
Luxurious Lace and glass, on route to Bennett Street, Bath.

On entry, the main room showcased a wonderfully diverse mix, the collection from clever pattern makers, Cambridge Imprint, (insta) was first to grab my attention with their striking duo toned patterned products, stationery, organisers and cards.

Bath’s Assembly Rooms
Flyers in the window at VV Rouleux, Bath

At Bleu Anglais’s stand, I found exquisite vintage off cuts in the form of vintage Japanese Indigo Kasuri pieces.

Blue Anglais – vintage Japanese indigo Kasuri stripe swatch

There’s a wonderfully curated interiors journal tab @clothandkind, with more about Kasuri textiles here – https://www.clothandkind.com/journal-archive/provenance-kasuri

Amid a room full of incredible textiles, the sourced European folk clothing by Susie Petrou told an interesting story. Hanging amid a rail of one-off items were a pair of Transylvanian black wool gilets, the lustre of an ochre stitched satin trim caught my eye. I tried on both and fell in love with the utility of the simple and timeless hand-made tunics, opting for the red velvet trim version, as the fastenings worked and the fit felt bespoke made for my size. Susie kindly gave me the backstory of the garment; a cultural tale of a Saxony community living amid theTransylvanian mountains pre WWII, and how the garment fell into her hands after the departure of the Saxon population who abandoned many of their villages to return to Germany after the fall of the communist regime.

My maker spirit was thankful for this little handmade garment. Looking more closely it was made, worn and revived with such crafted detail, I shall delight in wearing and supporting it’s preservation.

Care in the detail, Susie Petrou’s postcard.

Vintage handmade folk wool gilet with floral red velvet trim, from Susie Petrou.
Reversed mending detail, the gilet’s patched repair.

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