Monday, May 9, 2011

Vintage Fashion and Textile Show

It was a nice day for a drive, gas prices have dropped .03 since last week, so I took a ride.

Everybody knows about the Brimfield Antique Show that takes place 3 times per year in Central Mass.  But I'm not certain many people know about the Vintage Fashion and Textile Show that precedes each one of the Brimfield shows.  It takes place at the Host Hotel in Sturbridge and I finally found the time to go and check it out.

The show is large and takes up several conference rooms on the first floor of the hotel.  It's a maze of fabric and lace vendors but also includes people who deal in vintage and antique clothing, jewelry, shoes, handbags, buttons, trims, ribbons, hats, and lingerie.  The period clothing is exquisite and runs from the 19th century to the 80s -- men's, women's, and children's items.   Prices run from reasonable to high but everything is in great condition.    And people were there to buy; many for themselves, some to resell.

So what did I buy?  I actually went out of curiosity.  I'm cleaning out Mom's house now and it's filled with lots of old things.  I was curious about the prices of lace as I'm selling some of Mom's vintage lace on Etsy in my other shop.  My lace is all selling for about $1 per foot.  Prices for similar lace at the show went from $3 per inch (not a typo) to $25 per yard.  I don't know, should I increase my prices?  Apparently I don't know what I have. The really fancy trim with metal threads was selling for $85 per yard and wide brocade trim for $100-$200.

Well while I would have liked to purchase a vintage jacket, I didn't find one that spoke to me.  I did spend a lot of time with the button vendors.  Old vintage buttons can be made into molds for silver clay pendants or earrings.  And this show had more unique buttons than I could ever find online.  But as usual, the ones I loved were the most expensive ones.  I couldn't justify spending $35 on a button let alone $225 for the nicest one.  But I did find a couple of dealers who had boxes or bowls of less expensive ones and purchased a couple of metal buttons with nice designs for $3 each.

On my way back home I traveled through Brimfield and saw them setting up tents for the fair that won't be open until tomorrow.  People were already browsing but most tents were closed and the fields roped off.
Then as you round the corner on Route 20 in Palmer just after the right turn that takes you to Warren, there was a flea market set up and already doing business.  It was a lot of junk with some vendors just making piles on the  ground or lining up bins with items still wrapped.  But I found a jewelry vendor with a couple of old broken watches who was willing to part with them for a very reasonable price.  And I met a man selling old, rusted tools, just like the ones that are piled up in Mom's cellar.  We talked a bit about the value of some of the tools and he gave me his card if I want him to have a look.