Top 11 Ways to Repurpose Vintage Fabrics

In today’s day and age what was old is now new again, especially in the age of hipsters. “Vintage” is highly sought after because of its artisanship or story behind it. It adds an extra level of delight to think of the time when the fabric was created, the state of the world, how style influenced the look and feel of each piece, or even as a chance to get a small glimpse of the brilliance of designers long since passed.

Whether it be vintage fabric, antique upholstery textiles or even just vintage inspiration – those with a keen sense of style always find a way to make room to pay homage to these extraordinary relics of the past. Whether you want to create something for yourself or even if you are designing a family heirloom as a gift. Using these antique fabrics can add special meaning to an otherwise ordinary item.

If you find yourself collecting lovely antique and vintage linens, and have no idea what to do with them. There are a lot of very pretty old embroidered and cutwork linens – Tablecloths, napkins, handkerchiefs, table runners – out there just dying for a new life.

Here are Isa Fabrics’ top ways to repurpose your favorite vintage fabrics:

Linen Tableware and Napkins

Nothing says high-end more than tailor-made sewn napkins. They are a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and modern way to amp up the class to any dinner party. Mix and match various motifs, from floral and stripes to gingham and polka dots. You can make them everyday-use or keep it fun by coordinating colors to decor themes and holidays.

The process of making a gorgeous table runner that harnesses the beauty of the prints, embroidery, and lace so often featured in the linens, sheets, and pillowcases of generations past is simple but bears a maximum impact on your decor. The final product is particularly pretty and nostalgic given that modern sheets don’t always feature such craftsmanship!

Home Drapery Panels

Keeping in mind the color scheme of your room, along with the strategic mixing of a variety of scaled textile patterns – you can add drama and excitement to any room while ensuring the room remains peaceful instead of seeming too busy.

The same goes for lining the tops of the main windows in your home with window valances made of vintage handkerchiefs. They are much too gorgeous just to sit in storage boxes in your attic. Put them to good use by prettying up your window frames!

Wrapped Clothes Hangers

Improve the look and grip of your plain plastic hangers by wrapping them in scrap fabric strips. You can tie on the ends or use hot glue or stitch the ends in. Be color coordinated or mix it up to give your closet a very Jane Austen feel.

Scrap Fabric Pot Holders

Make different shapes, create patterns or quilts, and simply have fun repurposing fabric to be used as a clever means to keep hot or heavy pots from doing damage to your table surface.

Vintage Fabric Baby Bibs

Do you have any babies in your life? You can use your scraps to make them a sweet baby bib, it might end up looking too good to get food all over, but even if it gets kept for best, it will no doubt be passed down from generation to generation as a keepsake.

Nostalgic Vintage Art

Ever been inspired by a gorgeous piece of fabric that is just too beautiful to wear that it looks like it should be hanging on your wall? Vintage fashions rise to artwork status when displayed prominently. Have the fabric framed and placed on a wall so that you can admire it many more times than just getting a single-use out of it.

Fabric Envelope Clutch

Perfect to pair with a vintage dress, a repurposed fabric clutch is a girl’s best friend…third to diamonds and chocolate of course. So why not venture out and create one of your own out of a great vintage fabric you found. And if you cannot bear to ruin perfectly good fabric with your novice DIY skills, I’m sure a good seamstress can also whip one up for you in no time.

Fabric Scrap Shoe Laces

This super simple idea can jazz up a pair of trainers or boots. It simply involves measuring the current length of your laces and hemming your fabric to the appropriate width and length. You could even join together different patterns of fabric if you don’t have one piece long enough.

Old Style Luggage Tags From Pieces Of Scrap Fabric

Luggage tags are the sorts of things you don’t remember you need until you are heading to the airport. And because they are so small you can use one type of fabric or several, which allows you to use every last scrap.

Vintage Leftover Fabric Bunting

Bunting decoration is great for all manner of occasions from birthdays and celebrations to decorating a nursery or storefront. You can go completely random with your choice of scrap fabric which looks even better as a vintage set of mismatched patterns and colors.

Quilted Scrap Fabric Coasters

If you still have scraps left after all your other creations, then why not try some cute quilted coasters. These are another one that would make an excellent gift, especially if you can find some meaningful vintage fabric that the recipient might recognize.

Whether you’ve inherited a box of old linens from your grandmother or simply found them in a thrift store or garage sale, you’ve hit a jackpot! Linen styles have changed since the times of lace inserts and delicate colored embroidery, in favor of graphic prints and high-quality thread counts, but vintage sheets, pillowcases, and handkerchiefs are a fantastic way to add a little old-style flair to your modern space.

Whatever you decide to do with your upcycled vintage fabrics, Isa Fabrics wants to help you make it happen. Stop by our showroom or contact the office today so we can help you take the next steps in your vintage fantasies.

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