Published: June 8, 2004
The 39th Tri-Annual Antiques Textiles Vintage Clothing Show and Sale was conducted at the Sturbridge Host Hotel on May 10. Produced by Linda Zukas, this international event takes place three times each year and attracts dealers and customers from Europe and Asia for its depth of offerings in relics made of fibers.
At this show, dealers bring raw materials of fabrics to be sold for special garments or decorating accessories and vintage clothing to be worn or simply collected. The materials can be very high value silk covers and dresses from the Orient or primitive cotton or flax from early American collections found in the attic. Entire displays are sometimes devoted to only one type of article, such as table covers and napkins, or it may include every imaginable textile the dealer was able to collect since the last show.
Zukas began this show out of the frustration dealers were experiencing when trying to sell fabrics and textiles under the all-weather environment of the nearby outdoor Brimfield markets. She said, “The show evolved out of Brimfield in that the wind and weather, rain and dust are not kind to textiles.” She believed that there would be a bigger market for the dealers and customers if only they could have an indoor location. Additionally, she wanted to still be able to trade on what Brimfield had become – the largest antiques flea market in America.
Thus, in July 1991, Zukas scheduled the first “Textiles Show,” as it is now known for these Monday gatherings. She sold out the available space in the Sturbridge Host Hotel and has been repeating her original format. Each Monday of Brimfield week there is now a sellout of dealer spaces, each filled with all manner of antique textiles and vintage clothing. This July, Zukas has arranged to expand the show area to allow approximately 130 dealers.
Martha Perkins, an Ashbury, Mass., dealer, has “always done well here,” selling a vast collection of early handmade quilts, but she has been expanding her market. At the most recent show, she also had vintage bark cloth slipcovers and draperies. Greenfield, Mass., collector and dealer Nancy Stronczek had a selection of dresses for young girls and also for dolls. Patricia Lea of Gales Ferry, Conn., had mostly linen table covers and napkins.
There was a display of ladies’ hats and the boxes for their storage offered by Christine D’Anjou from Marblehead, Mass. These were truly out of the past, just right for the Easter Parade of 1947 or thereabouts. Trading as Rambling Rose, Marcella Schmidt had complete outfits for ladies wanting to recreate an image of the fashionable flapper, whether for a night out at the clubs and speakeasies or for a stroll along the river park on a Sunday afternoon.
An Edwardian Period gown, circa 1901-10, made of silk and gold lamé was the centerpiece of New York City dealer Angela Nechay’s display. Cheryl Wakely is a Woodstock, Conn., antiques dealer who has been doing the show with various antiques made from cloth. As for ribbons and accessories, Carol Wright brought them from home in Delaware, N.J.
During the show, a lovely lady was found trying on some clothing in a booth, attempting to decide if the fit and style of a coat was right for her fall wardrobe. Later, she was seen with a large bundle, which presumably was her new coat. That is a part of why the customers were there, to find that special something to have, to look, to wear, to hang or make into something new.
Their next opportunity will be July 5 and then again September 6. Note that those are both national holidays, but the show will go on. The Sturbridge Host Hotel is on Route 20, just off Interstate 84, near the intersection with the Massachusetts Turnpike. For information, 207-439-2334 or www.vintagefashionandtextileshow.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm