From an Antique Roll of Hemp Fabric: a Country Style Centre Piece for a Table

Whenever you go to an antiques fair you always return with something which fuels your imagination. A trip to ‘C’era una Volta’ (Once Upon a Time) Antiques Fair – the fair that runs from September to April in the big Cesena exhibition centre – is an unforgettable experience.

Once we returned with an enormous roll of antique hemp fabric. It’s triple the size of normal fabric rolls (one roll = almost 9 metres of material = a sheet for the trousseau); this is 27 metres of pure loom woven hemp, woven by who knows who, who knows when, probably in Romagna (an historical name for South-eastern Emilia Romagna).

1 torsello in canapa

I jealously put it back into the chest and my mind began to think about how to use it. The unusual thing about this fabric roll is that at the end of it (almost 80cm, the same width of the fabric) there is an unusual ‘alternated painting’, which deserves special attention.

2 tessitura a tela alternata

One day it occurred to me to join the first part of the material up with some old lace (this also came from an antiques fair).

4 un bottino di merletti

No sooner said than done, the joining is complete; I take a square of the hemp fabric (80cm x 80cm), wash it with a bit of Marseille soap and let it dry naturally.

3 si asciuga all'aria

Attach it to the lace which best matches the colour of the material (a warm shade, a bit yellowed with time.

5 preparazione del merletto-1

6 l'angolo-1

The subject (a series of teapots that run along the antique lace.

7 centro tavola

8 centro tavola

And the place that I will put it; on an old dark wood table, matched with some other objects from the antique fair ‘C’era Una Volta’…

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