Monday, September 09, 2013
A Blaze of Glory?
Flame stitch fabric. Do you love it? Hate it? Fall somewhere in between? Quite frankly, it has never been one of my favorites. I think that the problem is that there are flame stitch fabrics that look too old-fashioned or their colors are all wrong, and then there are those that look like they came out of a seedy 1970s interior.
I'm starting to change my tune, though. Recently, my cousin Karlyle mentioned to me that she still loves flame stitch. That comment made me start to reconsider this oldie. And then, I opened the August issue of British House & Garden, and there was Helen Cormack of Tissus d'Hélène, who had put together a fabric scheme for a fantasy drawing room that included the most beautiful flame stitch by Edmond Petit, "Point d'Hongrie". Cormack suggested using the fabric on the inside of a wing chair, with a dark green plain linen used for the outside. How clever!
Now, I know that we are supposed to make decisions for ourselves, but I admit that Cormack's endorsement of this fabric gave it added appeal. By all accounts, Cormack is the London doyenne of textiles, and her showroom is on my list of places to visit on my next (and hopefully soon) trip to London. So yes, maybe I was swayed. But still, I really think that I may further investigate "Point d'Hongrie". I'm thinking that it might be just the right fabric for my sofa's throw pillows. The fabric strikes just the right note for my apartment. It's proper and well-mannered looking, not to mention that it has depth and maturity. And yet, it isn't dull or, worse, seedy-looking. This might just be the perfect flame stitch fabric. Well, to me anyway.
"Point d'Hongrie" from Edmond Petit.
Other examples of flame stitch from the past (of which some are better than others):
A flame stitch vignette at Tiffany & Co., decorated by Inman Cook. c. 1960s.
A Bloomingdale's model room by Barbara d'Arcy.
Flame stitch wallhanging and upholstery in a 17th-century English room.
Flame stitch rugs in the bedroom of Michel Pignère, France, c. 1960s.
Image at top: House & Garden, August 2013; #2 House & Garden Guide to Interior Decoration; #3 House & Garden's Complete Guide to Interior Decoration; #4 Traditional Decorating by John Sutcliffe; #5 Nouvelles reussites de la decoration francaise, 1960-1966.