Friday, 20 November 2015

A brush with nylon

Certain fabrics get a very bad press. 
While natural fibres like silk and cotton are undeniably lovely to wear, I don't have any problem with synthetics, particularly in colder weather.

I bought this 1970s maxi dress last week on my day out with Vix and Tania. It's handmade (very nicely too, complete with purple lining) from brushed nylon, like my autumn-in-a-frock dress (seen here). 
Often used in the 1960-70s to make bedding and nightwear, brushed nylon is one of those fabrics which divide opinion, rather like Crimplene. 

I'm in the why not? camp. It washes easily, dries quickly, doesn't need ironing, and the Fuzzy Felt texture is perfect for days with a chill in the air. And that groovy psychedelic print makes me very happy.

The history of synthetic fibres is interesting. Early examples like rayon and viscose were organic, derived from cellulose, but with the invention of nylon in the 1930s, fabrics could be entirely man-made from petrochemicals. 

Acrylic and polyester followed in the 1940s and 50s. Whether you like to wear them or not, these fabrics had a revolutionary impact on fashion.
1970s maxi dress, jacket, vintage brooch, bangles and boots - all charity shopped
It's a good thing I wore something quick-drying today; it has been pouring with rain off and on, and I got caught out without an umbrella on my way home from Lidl. 
My life is all about the glamour. 

Speaking of which, I found this little piece of glamour in a charity shop this week.

Yes, I know it could do with a good going-over with a lint roller, but for a quid, it's a lovely little vintage velvet evening bag. And it's probably as close as I'll ever get to the Taj Mahal.
After a bit of googling, I discovered that this type of embroidery using metallic thread is called zardozi, a Persian technique which became popular in India. Designs use silver or gold thread, and can incorporate beads and pearls. This decoration is still produced today, but I think my bag is an old one since it has a internal pocket intended for a small mirror, not a feature you find in modern bags.  
And I found a suitably autumnal vintage copper brooch in the same shop, also £1.
I'm ridiculously easy to please; a nylon frock, a £2 spend in a charity shop, and the company of my cats in the garden. 

I'm really busy at the moment, so in an effort to plan ahead (like wearing a quick-dry frock on a rainy day), I'm linking in advance to Patti's Visible Monday.

Have a good weekend, everyone!


Mother of Reinvention said...

Can't beat a bit of nylon. Just no naked flames. You are a psychedelic vision in your dress and I love that bag. The brooch though is really catching my eye. It's gorgeous. You can't beat vintage, frocks and cats. I am in the middle of packing and found a 70's maxi dress. It made think of you. Have a great weekend! Xx

Goody said...

Drip-dry clothes are the best-and no ironing. I love the print on the maxi, and the jacket gives it the perfect balance. I've tried doing embroidery with metallic thread and it is HARD! The bag must have taken hours and hours to sew.

My only complaint with brushed nylon is that it can get static cling horribly if not washed with fabric softener. We won't talk about my experience at a very busy airport where the babydoll brushed nylon dress I was wearing decided to stick to the top of my tights (I'm sure my rucksack didn't help things). As you're wearing a maxi, it ought to be safe enough...

SAM said...

I'd either be filthy or under dressed without some synthetics. I really on my washer, and being sort of a klutz, with spills, I often only get one wear out of something before it needs a washing. Love the little clutch.

Kezzie said...

You look bloomin Amazing!!!! Love the maxi AND the Amazing evening bag and of course the brooch-that'll look lovely on one of your berets as well as on a lapel etc!! In Bali, they do a special weaving technique with gold thread it is like ikat but I forgot the name!!

I confess that I don't get on.swimmingly with synthetic fabrics as, sorry for being too blunt, they make me sweat!!!Xx
Hope your busy week isn't too arduous!

Señora Allnut said...

I agree, acrylic fibers are nice, perfect when it's cold outside. And I love particularly viscose, as it's fluid and cool to wear!.
Loving your dress, such a fabulous print and perfect shape!, and it has purple lining!! that's even more fabulous!!. Love to see you enjoying all those (very important) little things, like looking gorgeous in a vintage dress or cuddling your cats!

Connie said...

Your life IS all about glamour. You bring it every day. You are so lovely in this dress. I love it with the little lace up boots. And Vix, Tania and Cat approved at that. It doesn't get much better. You are so right about it being hot, though. We used to wear nylon clothing underneath our grubby jeans and sweaters to keep extra warm back when we went hippie skiing back in the 70's.

Beth Waltz said...

The little clutch bag is an objet d'art! Both in technique and appearance, zardozi reminds me of Elizabethan stumpf work. Wouldn't it be a charming accessory for a slinky silk caftan? And one could wear flats! (Yes, I've no idea when I picked up the rule of proportion that states carrying a small clutch permits one to wear flats, rather than heels.)

Angels have Red Hair said...

Anything that doesn't need ironing is A OK with me ;0)

Miss Magpie said...

Your Taj bag is STUNNING I'd have wrestled you for it if I'd been in the shop too!

Can't go wrong with a bit of purple, you look gorgeous in your new frock. x

Bobbi said...

Your new dress is beautiful and looks perfect on you. That little bag you found is gorgeous.
I've never had a problem with man-made fabrics. As a lazy housekeeper, I prefer things that can go in the washing machine and don't need special treatment. They don't shrink up or fade, either.
Does getting a handmade vintage dress inspire you to do more sewing?

Patti said...

I like fabrics that don't need a lot of care - imagine wearing linen workout clothes : >
Gorgeous maxi dress and evening bag - the embroidery is stunning. I am east to please too - a wine, a cheese, a bread and a good book today. xox


Suzanne said...

I will admit to being a late supporter of synthetics. Everything you wrote about them is true though. I now have quite the collection of maxis similar to yours. I especially like the high neckline on this one.

The handbag is wonderful! I, like you, prefer these one-out pieces. So unique.


bahnwärterin said...

poly or not - that dress is totally fab on you!!! and so perfect with the jacket! and the pretty flowers - ours are already dead since a frosty night in october.
i have nothing against nylon or polyester - in small amounts in the right places :-)
because - i get itchy from it. call me strange - i wear happily the roughest wool against my skin....
and wool repels the rain too!
that purse is soooo beautiful!!
happy sunday!!!!!

Shawna McComber said...

Admittedly I would not/could not wear most of what you wear but then that is what makes it so lovely to look at. I am uncomfortable in synthetics and then I get cranky. I sweat or get full of static. Liking something and being able to live with it are very different things for me and I don't think I'm the only one like that. I love how your hair, your striking features and your confident carriage all suit the bold colours and shapes of what you wear and I particularly love purples on you. The velvet bag is lovely and I am envious that you actually have need of an evening bag. I keep thinking I should not hang onto the one I have. My life is just too casual. I hang out with the kinds of people who attend events in jeans and carry canvas or hemp wallets. LOVE the copper brooch! Love your cats, your outdoor photo site and you! xoxo

Porcelina said...

What a super dress that is on you! Lovely colours. I can't wear some synthetic fabrics as they make me too sweaty, and some actually give my skin a rash. I keep ripping out polyester linings from dresses! I definitely find natural fibres better at keeping me warm/cool, so I'm stockpiling wool jumpers from the charity shops at the moment, we've had snow on the hills here x

Sue said...

I love anything I do not have to iron, and is comfortable to wear. That frock looks perfect on you, obviously made with you in mind, how convenient! I totally subscribe to being easy pleased, the simple things in life give me the most pleasures. Nice to know us simple gals are all over this planet being easily pleased.

thorne garnet said...

I'll say you did good with those 2pounds! That purse is stunning.

BadPenny said...

I can't wear anything synthetic which is so limiting !

We had our big Christmas sale yesterday & very few evening bags sold which was a shame as we have some lovely ones.

We made over £1,000 which was thrilling - a lot of hard work but great result ! We can relax a bit now ! xx

Vix said...

That dress fits you like an absolute dream. I love it! The colours glow out from my monitor.
Vintage synthetic fabrics rock. I'm sure that I've said this before but I've been told that fashion companies stopped producing certain fabrics as the clothes made from them were almost indestructible and women weren't buying as many clothes.
How strange that so many of the commentators can't wear synthetics, great news for us!
That bag is gorgeous as are cats and wintery flowers!
Don't work too hard.
Love you! xxx

Olga Rani said...

Really like your finds, the embroidered bag and the brooch, such unique pieces!

Unknown said...

Thankfully I can wear synthetics and I do, mostly in colder weather. But the lighter and filmier dresses I can wear till it gets really hot and humid. That dress is fabulous on you! :)

Ulla-Marie said...

Almost like a Pucci-dress!

Mim said...

That dress really suits you.

I like some synthetics, and have both natural fibres and synthetics in my wardrobe - there's a lot to be said for things that dry quickly and never need ironing. I definitely prefer to knit with natural fibres, though that might be because good-quality synthetic yarns aren't as common as good-quality naturals. (Spare me crunchy, squeaky budget acrylic - sets my teeth right on edge!)

Fiona said...

Thanks for providing the glamour Curtise, there's none in these parts!
I've no problem with synthetics, no ironing and warm...yay! Who remembers brushed nylon sheets and pyjamas (sparks under the bedclothes) Your copper brooch is beautiful, as indeed are you in the groovy maxi. That lovely Taj clutch is begging to be taken out for a 'ruby'.

Forest City Fashionista said...

The pattern on that maxi is very groovy! I can wear some synthetics, but I stay away from crimplene as I spent much of my early childhood wearing crimplene clothing made by my grandmother. I do like the "wash and wear" quality of many of them, and that the fabric will hold bright colours better than cotton.

There was a little velvet bag similar to the one you found in the thrift store in my neighbourhood where they seem to get a lot of things from India and the Middle East. It wasn't nearly as nice as yours though - that deserves a night out.

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Nice colours of print and jacket. Best :)

Ivana Split said...

I don't have anything against artifical materials. Faux leather is my saviour during rainy days...I like to keep warm and dry, so why not? I guess that makes me a part of "why not?" team. Plus, silk isn't that available and organic cotton isn't that cheap either...

I do like that maxi dress. Its print is exactly the kind I adore...and it matches with this purple blazer wonderfully. Very feminine and stylish outfit. You look great!!!!

That mini bag with Taj Mahal is simply divine...a work of art! what a great find! I didn't know about Persian roots of this kind of embroidery but it doesn't suprise me. I know Persians were known for creating wonderful fabrics, carpets and why not embroidery too? I doubt I'll ever see Taj Mahal either but perhaps I'll try to paint it some day.

We have a tradition of golden embroidery in Croatia (embroidery with gold threads). I'm quite good at embroidery but gold threads are something I can't afford yet....maybe some day. Now courses where ladies do gold embroidery on paper are popular but to be honest 'their art' look quite clumsy to me (I saw many such exhibitions and not one could even remotely compare with old fashion gold embroidery one sees on Croatian national costumes) so I think I'll just skip those. I saw one lady on TV who does gold emboridery on ties and she sells them for quite a penny...her work I really liked, I would have totally bought one of those ties if I could.

Ivana Split said...

btw I'm exactly the same way....I always remember lyrics to songs, even the ones I don't like. My husbands gets annoyed by my singing quite often.

The Style Crone said...

Thanks for the history lesson! I had a limited understanding of the timeline of synthetic fibres. I'm with you. If I love it, I wear it. And you look amazing in this colorful maxi.

I have a similar vintage velvet evening bag adorned with silver and gold threads with matching belt. Estate sale find of course. Your Taj Mahal version is beautiful!

Unknown said...

Any fabric that doesn't need ironing is a hit with me most of vintage dresses are crimplene which I adore. Love your dress you look gorgeous as ever loving the little evening bag and brooch to, dee xxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

Wow! Purple and psychedelic, what's not to like! I like the idea of brushed nylon at this time of year, never come across any in a charity shop though! Love that copper brooch too. Great finds as usual.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

I like your boots! I'm not a fan of brushed nylon but it's very warm. I'd also worry about the whole static electricity thing with it riding up or clinging to bits you don't want it to cling to. But you look like you're doing fine!
Your little bag was a great find. xxxx

Lisa said...

Well you can't quibble at all that colour for £2 now can you.
The jacket compliments it perfectly.
Love the new brooch, just right for this time of year.
Lisa x

Mrs Bertimus said...

You look stunning, and what a beautiful hand bag x

freckleface said...

I'm so glad you bought the dress, it is just stunning on you, and you know that neckline is great on you. And I love the sleeves. I think we said it at the time, but it has got a bit of a cheongsam shape going on. In brushed nylon. My mum sent us off to boarding school with brushed nylon sheets. The sparks I used to make with my feet used to fascinate me, it was certainly never cold! I bought a crimplene dress a while back which I love and I wore the Peepers polyester disco dress without combusting. Who'd have thought it? The Taj Mahal bag is a beaut, not surprised you're pleased with it. Talking of vintage in chazzas, any updates on your job situation? Xxxx

Trees said...

That dress is beautiful! I love it and I totally wear synthetics, they totally keep you warm on miserable days. I know some people say "its basically like you're wearing plastic" but I'm ok with that! I love that pretty purse as well, so intricate, what a great find xo

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