My Favourite Window

January 27, 2012

Curtain Animals

Aelfy returns from Narnia ...

to consider joining the circus.

Which reminds me that one of the purposes of Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden is to provide an archive for mid-twentieth century fabrics and household wares. Returning to my blog this year, I am gratified to see that posts such as


are showing up in internet searches.  Whether or not my posts are useful to the seekers, I hope that I can add something of a personal as well as useful nature, to a global catalogue of wares. 
For me too, the Internet is a fabulous research tool, though I would like to be able to submit an image of fabric or china for easy matching.
At some stage I would like to apend 
Lady Mondegreen's Pattern Book to this blog, but I want it to be more than the melange of images that it currently exists as. 
My own fascination is with design history - including its social context, production methods and emotional significance. 

So, although the theme of this curtain design represents entertainment that many of us now find cruel and unacceptable, it also speaks deeply to my sub-conscious of the security and comfort of my early childhood.

I can remember my mother making these curtains for the room I shared with my brother soon after we moved into the Skudder House in 1963.  This is the design she chose to decorate her children's bedroom with.

Fanciful, joyous: who was the artist who produced these images? They are reminiscent of picture book illustrations of the period, and this style still infuses me with a childish happiness when I come across it.

The fabric is 46 inch (117 cm) wide cotton with a slub woven into it. This is known as barkcloth amongst collectors and connoiseurs, but when I was growing up in 1960s New Zealand, we simply called it curtain - or furnishing - fabric. I can remember in my teens and early adulthood thinking this type of cloth, not to mention the designs, were fusty and old-fashioned.

Aelfy has been thinking about this Circus business and doesn't think that he could work with Big Cats...

He has decided to stick to pole dancing instead.


John Gray said...

I was transported right back to the 1960s when I saw your fabric designs..... I was transported back to a time when old ladies wore aprons and circus' were very PC

Jeneane said...

I'm reminded of those old ladies every time I sit down to dinner and the girls say "Mum, you've still got your apron on." I hope your childhood memories of the sixties are as comforting as mine are John, Ringmaster of your own Circus!

the cuby poet said...

These designs are so 1960s and rather delightful. I made a quilt when I was 14 going on 18 out of bits of the fabrics my mother had used as I was growing up. Great memory bank in a cupboard must have a look sometime.

Jeneane said...

What a treasure - your quilt - something made by you and about you. Yes, all these childhood relics are great prompters of memory.

Sisters of the Blog said...

I remember fabric like that most fondly! I had forgotten all about it, the memory tucked away, waiting to be rediscovered.



Jeneane said...

Hi Megan, you remember those times too. Isn't it funny the things we think we have forgotten - some good, some bad. I wrote about a particularly strong memory rush in NUTS IN MAY on 2 May 2011.
Thanks for peeking behind the curtains by the way :-)