Adoring all things vintage, retro and downright quirky

Tag Archives: Ikea

Why are there no fabric shops? Why?

 

I have been thinking of creating a resource for those in my local area of Bristol and Bath for some time now as I have been growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of fabric shops in the South West.  

In London, there are more places to grab a fabriky bargain than you can shake a stick at so bear with me. Here goes:

 

My local haunt is The Nylon Shop on Two Mile Hill in Kingswood (no website sorry!) It smells bad but it’s cheap and has a good range of fabrics, often with new ranges coming in. The have mountains of felt for smaller projects and I bagged some great little trimmings for next to nothing to embellish my bags with. It’s a good all rounder and is open quite late so you can always pop there after work. Next door has this strange little shop full to bursting with feathers and findings, fake fur and other fripperies that can add some pizzazz to your projects.

 

 Fabric Land, York House, Bond St, Bristol – 0117 942 6155

Enter with caution! Is it me, or do you want to be inspired while you are shopping for material? Now, I don’t mean to be mean but unless you are searching for some nasty wet-look fabric for that fetish outfit you’ve been considering making or are a mum in desperate need of a nativity costume for Emily and Jack’s debut performances, then this really doesn’t have much for you. Ok, that’s a bit harsh – it has good cotton, a range of handy things like netting and calico and felt but in terms of getting some stylish textiles, I really wouldn’t bother.

 

 
Avon Textiles – St. Nicholas’ Market, Market Gate, BRistol – 01454 632 279

Yet another mixed bag to be found at Avon Textiles, tucked right out the way at St Nick’s Market off Corn Street. I went there, eyes full of promise, a happy heart, and returned with my little face crumpled and frustrated. It was old and smelly (again? C’mon people, get a glade plug-in! Heard of Febreeze anyone???) It had lots of putrid flarey old fabrics and lots of punky neon netting which I saw lots of A Level students buying to incorporate into for bizarre art projects but that was about it – plus it was quite pricy. So be warned, not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

 

 
Shannon, 68 Walcot Street Bath 01225 424222

 

Hurrah! This is more like it! Shannon is an exclusively Scandinavian store and has…wait for it…Marimekko fabrics in store! Yay! It ain’t cheap but it certainly is pretty. Don’t need to say anymore, just visit if you get the chance (note to above fabric shops: atmosphere goes a long way!)

 

 

Eastville Market, fabric supplies,  Eastville, Bristol, Avon BS5 6XY, 0845 355 2264

Cheap cheap cheap, often naff but good for buttons, bits and bobs for crafty projects. Cups of tea sell nearby for about 40p and the best bit is, it’s right next to the following resource…Yes, you guessed it – IKEA!

   Ok, so I sometimes ramble on about Ikea but to be honest, I’m so strapped for places to go, that Ikea offers a very reasonable and tasteful alternative. I have made many a cushion from treasures found at the Swedish furniture superstore.

 

 

And that’s all folks. Isn’t it sad? For  such a creative and diverse area as the South West, this is all I have managed to find – yes there are John Lewis, Cath Kidson and Laura Ashleys in abundance but it’s the little folk that I care about. So please, please, please, let me know if there are any others I have missed – there are bound to be but the issue is that I haven’t been able to find them, anywhere. Marketing goes a long way, eh?

 Until next time….

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cath Kidson 
I may have touched on this subject briefly in an earlier post but having just received the latest Cath Kidson catalogue through the post, I was amazed at the amount of products they now offer. Initially I was OK with the pretty fabrics and made-up bits n bobs such as the peg bags, laundry bags, and sofa coverings as they are the natural progression for a fabric designer (after all that is what she is, is it not?)
However, then along came the crockery. Cotton candy sweet knives and forks, gazebos, kitsch camping gear for festival luvvies who wouldn’t be seen dead in anything from Millets, God forbid! Then came the seasonal goods (I always worry when seasonal goods come along – it smells of saturation).

And now, she has gone and committed (in my opinion) the cardinal sin: her own range of toiletries.

So imagine, a day-in-the-life of a die-hard Cath Kidson fiend:

She showers using her Cath Kidson shower gel before stepping out wrapping herself in her Cath Kidson towel, before slathering on her Cath Kidson body lotion  and slipping on her Cath Kidson bathrobe. Of course, she selects a pretty floral Cath Kidson tea dress and slips on her Cath Kidson cutie-pie pumps (I don’t think she does underwear – yet).Cath Kidson tiny flowers plimsollsCath Kidson painted rose frame bagCath Kidson, pebble print dress

She then proceeds to prepare a yummy lunch using a range of Cath Kidson crockery and glass ware, which sits atop her Cath Kidson oilcloth tablecloth, along side matching napkins and chair coverings. Before the guests arrive, she gives the dog his dinner, and he curls up in his rather flowery Cath Kidson dog basket. The guests arrive into a flurry of roses and dots, cowboys, stripes and stars. When everyone has gone home, she can put everything in the washing machine to be washed with the new range of Cath Kidson laundry products. Phew.

Ok, so maybe you wouldn’t have EVERYTHING Cath Kidson, but you could if you wanted, and that’s the point. I compare this to Ikea overkill: you know when you visit someone and you notice that flat-pack aura that radiates from every piece of furniture, the lighting, the rugs, the kitchen, the bedroom, even the plant pots have that ‘cloned’ look.

Ikea used to be a good place for getting really cheap and simple looking furniture – great for those kitting out a new home on a budget, but it’s not about being individual. How can it be when you can walk into a million homes across Europe and see the same print hanging on the wall, the same saucepans boiling away on the same cookers. It’s just not what good interior design is about.

sweeties    I take the pick n mix ethos: if there is something you see that you like, sure, go ahead and buy it. But stop there. Put down the vase. Replace the storage box thingy on its shelf and walk away. Ask yourself if you really need it. You probably don’t.

Now I’m not critising the spirit of enterprise, but I can’t help feel a little dismayed. I picture the creative team at Cath Kidson sitting around the meeting room table. Someone has noticed that there is a new niche in the market for Cath Kidson wine. Yes, imagine it, says the product design manager, it would go really well with the gazebo – it matches and what’s more, it completes the picture of a rural ‘vintage’ idyll. 

Well, thankfully this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m betting my bottom dollar that it has probably popped up in the design meetings at some point. So where do you stop? I fear Ms Kidson is saturating the market with sickly sweet ‘pseudo vintage’ loveliness and in doing so, the charm of the original fabrics disipates, and with it goes style, credibility and, my favourite, individuality. No one wants to have the same as everybody else.

So I have one last question: when’s the fragrance out?