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Home > Newsletters > April/May 2008

April/May 2008

Material Pleasures, LLC April/May Newsletter   


Material Pleasures, LLC


Material Pleasures, LLC Free Shipping Policy:

all domestic orders less than 1 pound -  No Minimum Order! 


You still have the option of paying actual charges for Priority Shipping.


Orders over $100 are shipped for free in the US, International Orders will receive a discount.  Consignment Items Excluded and clearly marked Consignment.




May 3, 2008 - Dana Balsamo of Material Pleasures, LLC will be offering Verbal Consultations and Valuations for your Vintage and Antique Quilts at the NJ History Fair at Washington's Crossing State Park, Rt 546, Titusville, NJ, from 11am to 5 pm.   Fee is $20, please contact Dan Campbell at 609-561-7310 or [email protected] for an appointment and more information.  

Admission to the fair is free!  On site parking is free!  Rain or shine.   Please see http://www.njhistoryfair.org/ for more information.


May 16-17 , Rebecca Reel Quilt Show "Needlesongs" from 10 am to 5 pm, at Poricy Park in Middletown, NJ.



A Common Question: "How can I dye a textile to make it look older like and antique?"

This past weekend I was asked by woman how to dye a white lace veil from the 1960s to match a wedding dress.  She was referring to tea dyeing.  As a conservationist, I believe that a textile should not be changed so that the original condition could not be studied for the future.  But I do feel that common vintage textiles should be used.  And a daughter wanting to use her a mother's lace wedding veil is a lovely way to honor her mother and the veil. 


Before you dye a textile, you have to determine its fabric content.  Natural or synthetic?  Cotton or silk? 


Tea dyeing can old be performed on cotton, silk, and linen.  And there is the possibility of irregular or spotty results.  So I recommend commercial dyeing. 


Dharma Trading carries a large variety of dyes, including natural dyes from plants and vegetables, that can be used on natural fibers.  In searching Dharma Trading website, I did not notice any dyes for polyesters, but they do have paints. 


The only experience I have in dyeing fabrics is with new cotton and Procion dyes.  So I don't feel comfortable giving specific recommendations.  Especially since the same dye will produce different color results on different fabrics. 



Feature Article:  The Economy and Antiques

We all feel the pinch. Increasing gas prices, the real estate bubble bursting, the "R" word.  I don't pretend to understand why or how it's going to get 'fixed'.  I do know every industry  is effected in some way, including the antiques industry.

Less disposable income results in less sales, that's obviously.  We are all much more careful with our money.  Whereas we might not have blinked at treating ourselves with a piece of nostalgia to add to our collection, we now weigh those purchases against the family and household necessities.  It doesn't matter if it's an antique quilt or vintage towel, we are much more careful today with how we spend our money. 


And more and more people are trying to find ways to make a few more dollars, including disposing of family antiques and heirlooms.


On the news recently was a segment about Gold and Silver Parties.  Similar to a Tuperware party in that a hostess opens her home to her friends to join in the fun, she instead gives them the opportunity to sell their old gold and silver to a jewelry expect.  the expert weighs the precious metal, and pays them a check according to it's value.  It seems many pieces are worth more their weight in gold as scrap, than it's book value as a piece of jewelry or flatware.    The price of precious metals have skyrocketed recently.  A normal phenomenon when the value of the dollar declines.  So in the case of antique precious metals, it's also the tempting financial advantage in conjunction with the need for people to make money.  Scary, isn't it?  


While I have always been approached by people to purchase their antique textiles, the amount has been increasing.  Many are selling because they are downsizing, or because of family loss.  But an increasing amount are doing so, because they need the money. 


I encourage you to hold onto your family pieces.  They are a part of your history, invaluable.  If you cannot use them anymore, pass them onto a family member: daughter (-in-law), granddaughter, niece, cousin.  Put it aside for that younger member who may not have an appreciation for them now, but they might in the future.


I wish I could buy all the textiles offered to me...but like everyone else, I am feeling the pinch, too, and have to be very discernable about the pieces I buy.  And the prices I offer are lower that before, because now I am holding onto the pieces in inventory longer than before.


If you contact me, I may be able to refer an auction house to you, that may be able to help.  But remember, common items are bringing less at auction, and the auctioneer will charge you a consignment fee or seller's premium.   

My best,
Dana Balsamo
Material Pleasures, LLC



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