The Vintage Fabric Expert …
This is the first in a number of blog posts about special individuals. Not names you would recognise from magazines or the internet, but ordinary people [ and I do not mean that in any derogatory sense] who have embraced a more sustainable and ethical approach to living long before it became ‘the thing’. People who show that it can be done by the likes of you and me.
Now I need to fess up that this post is about my dear friend Angela. I have known this lady for about ten years so let that be the first lesson in that one is never too old to make new friends. We met at a vintage fair as stallholders, placed next to each other and just hit it off straight away. I think she has a fascinating story to tell and she has kindly allowed me to share it with you.
Angela is a child of the 1960’s and as a teenager was interested in fashion. However, living in a small town in the East Riding of Yorkshire there was not exactly a thriving fashion scene so she began to buy sewing patterns and fabric to make her own unique looks.
She continued with the sewing when she had her daughters making all their clothes as it was the cheapest option in an era when there was no Primark Kids or supermarket brands. Sewing and knitting etc was a necessity, but solely a hobby, as it was for many others.
Fast forward a few years and when her mother in law died Angela inherited a number of pieces of furniture, some of which needed upholstering. At the time she could not afford the services of a professional upholsterer so she decided to go on a part time course to learn the skills involved to undertake the work herself. Whilst on the course fabric was needed for sample work or projects and Angela discovered that it was very hard to find and very expensive when she finally did. So, resourceful as ever she began to trawl charity shops looking for suitable fabric.
Having finished the course and having thoroughly enjoyed the art and design aspect Angela decided at the age of 50 to apply for a part time textile degree. She told me that this was the hardest but ultimately the most enjoyable time of her life. It took all her self determination and strength not to walk out the first time she had to give a presentation!
Once again when fabric was needed Angela went to charity shops and car boot sales and in projects concentrated on sustainability and recycling much to the bemusement and downright hostility of her tutor who did not appreciate the concept, to say the least!
Once the course was completed, and she had taken and passed an adult teaching certificate Angela walked straight into a part time job as a technician on the fashion course at a local college. Which is where she stayed until she retired a few years ago.
All this time her knowledge of vintage textiles had been growing as had her passion and love of charity shopping, auctions and car boot sales. When I met Angela, she had decided to start selling her fabrics as a means of financing the next haul!
She is a demon hunter and a regular at York car boot sale. However, unlike some, shall we say more ruthless vintage hunters, she is supportive and generous to a fault both with her knowledge, her time, and her fabrics.
This lady was ahead of her time with her interest and use of vintage textiles. She continues to champion their use and has never lost her enthusiasm or passion. An example of that with determination and hard work you are never too old to start something new.
A true vintage lover, a true inspiration, and a truly lovely person… Angela Meneight.
Ebay shop …sagodes.