I got my first barkcloth on a trip to London. Looking for vintage fabrics in the markets I found a wonderful old barkcloth curtain.

At that time I worked in the world of fashion and I already felt an absolute passion for old fabrics. So every excuse seemed good to use recycled fabrics and offer them a second chance.

One of the flea markets I never miss when I travel to London is Brick Lane. In addition to the typical second-hand stores, it hides small shops that keep real vintage treasures and a the most variegated gastronomic offer.

Brick Lane, London flea market
Brick Lane, London flea market. Image Source ondonblogger.de

It was there, in a basement of Brick Lane, where I found this vintage fabric and, although it was somewhat broken, I loved it. I knew it was a fabric from the 1950s because I could recognized its pattern. Its graphic and abstract print, the use of color and its texture, made this fabric a very special piece. At that moment I did not know that its name was barkcloth and how popular was in England and the USA. I brought it to Spain and for a long time was at home, stored in my treasure shelf. Just seeing it made me happy for the day!

I been always in love with vintage textiles so it didn´t  take long to research its origin. I discovered that the barkcloth is a 100% cotton fabric, robust and with the plot in sight. Its texture and finish made it ideal to use not only in clothes, but also in upholstery. What a marvel of sofas and armchairs they had in the 50’s! some still keep their barkcloth and are true treasures.

In the 50s it was a very successful fabric and great designers dared to innovate on it. Important people like Eames or Lucienne Day, reflected on these fabrics optimistic canvases drawings. The barkcloth is nowadays a classic in the history of fabrics.

Lucienne, Barkcloth pattern
Eames, Barkcloth pattern. Circles

“My barkcloth are my dearest treasures in our vintage fabrics materials”

For me to find them has become a passion, assuming a challenge to turn those recycled vintage fabrics into luxury bags. I consider myself fortunate to play with them, turn them into timeless accessories, and praise the importance of vintage fabrics and their history. Besides, I feel like a fairy godmother!, making happy those who treasure these unique bags.

(On the left you can see some of our barkcloth for upcoming seasons and others currently on sale as cosmic.)

Selection of some bags and clutch made with barkcloth

Marlen with Barcloth

Seasn Summer 2019 (SS19)

We bring back to life
the first Barkcloth I bought
at Brike Line – London.

A unique clutch with the luxury of
a vintage barkcloth fabric,
where the importance of small things
becomes great #theimportanceofpettythings.

This design is an exclusive clutch
with all the luxury of the 50s,
an affordable treasure.

 

 

 


Petty Things creates luxury bags of limited edition that are born from experiences or fortuitous encounters with small and precious things that deserve to be praised. The collections base of the unique accesories is always exclusive vintage fabrics. Each clutch, purse, handbag or wallet is a sample of a new type of luxury, accessible and with conscience.

“We have been collecting vintage treasures for many years
to praise them in our unique luxury bags”

It all started years ago in Tokyo. For years I worked for Jocomomola, a Sybila firm, with which I frequently traveled to Japan. There came to me by chance an old kimono that was the first vintage treasure that I recycled into an exclusive luxury clutch of the Doris model.

On Saturdays, we also went to the offices a couple of hours therefore we used the afternoons to make plans around the city. Harajuku (原宿) it was one of my favorite neighborhoods, I was always going to see what I could find. It’s a neighborhood of Shibuya. After crossing the fun Takeshita Street and its madness of urban tribes, you arrive at Harajuku. It is a small neighborhood, with its narrow and short houses, preventing earthquakes, with small delicate and wonderful gardens. Between the houses you can find small shops “of everything”, literally. You could find a coffe shop for cats or a pastry shop where all the products are PINK! And, of course, small clothing and objects shops from Japanese designers brimming with creativity. If you are a good seeker you can stumble upon dreamy vintage stores and garages that hide beauties of any past era, with such a personal selection, which for me is a must.

Omotesando streets near Harajuku
Omotesando backstreets near Harajuku. Fuente gracias a boutiquejapan.com

My favorite place in Tokyo was the Kawanaka fea market (かながわ骨董市). At that time the flea markets were not yet so fashionable, and tourism in Japan was concentrated in the same places.

Kokeshi colection from Petty Things

Throughout my repeated trips to Japan, I have been rescuing each of these old wooden dolls, vintage treasures, whose printed dresses and delicacy inspire me to create.

 

 

 

 

I was out of the way of visitors, to the point that the pedestrians of the flea market laughed at the atypical of the situation pointing and covering their mouths, it was hilarious!

Kanagawa arises around a beautiful park, on its asphalted roads appear hundreds of stalls that are placed on the ground. The majority of stands are individuals that sell antiques or objects that they have at home, apparently without value. I loved looking at each place with attention trying to look at all those treasures, antiques with soul. It was difficult for me to fix my gaze on a point without being attracted by all the precious things that surrounded me. Uff!!, how hard to select what to buy, I wanted it all!

You could find unique objects such as antique toys, porcelain figures or even wonderful kokeshi – (こけし, 小芥子) are traditional Japanese dolls crafted in wood and believed to be souvenirs of the Edo Period (1603-1867) of Japan.

“Our unique luxury bags are contemporary and born of a passion for antique objects, with history”

One day, at the end of one of my srolls, there was a vintage kimono stand. For me it could not be more exciting to lose myself among all those ancient and exclusive fabrics. I could imagine the luxury of other times and the stories that would have behind them. I could not decide, they were all beautiful! But one caught my attention.

That first kimono would become the first limited luxury clutch with vintage fabric recovered for my brand Petty Things. It was silk, from the 50s, and totally unique. The geometric pattern of lines formed concentric squares, in black tones on white, and in the exact center of each box a vibrant orange square emerged.

Of course, it was not the only vintage fabric that I brought from that trip, but it is the one I remember buying with more emotion, perhaps because among so many wonderful things it was the most special.

This journey has a special place in my memories. It was the first of many others in seek of vintage treasures: antique fabrics, delicate and precious things, ornaments for my creations … Objects that exude history and that would inspire me to create my first collection of limited edition bags. The Doris model would be born with exciting stories behind each clutch -unique and numbered- highlighting the artistic value of its printed fabrics, mostly from the 50s.

From that thrilling kimono was born “Kinono”, an exclusive Doris clutch – we made not even five pieces of silk. They sold out right away, although I still keep one that reminds me of the origins of Petty Things. I hope that the rest continue to vibrate while traveling in the subway, resting at a table in a restaurant or accompanying on a night of partying! It is exciting to think what they will be doing. I remember that one was bought by a boy very interested in its origin for his Japanese girlfriend. Maybe there is one Kinono clutch on vacation in Kanagawa and it has returned to its origin!. Wouldn´t it be incredible, right?

Clutch de lujo exclusivo con tejido vintage - KINONO