Monday, March 16, 2015

So, What Does One Find in Germany VS France?

How to be creative in a new country? Good question, and one that I have been struggling with since moving here in January. It is interesting the differences in what is available vintage between the two countries, France and Germany.  Vintage lace bits can be found, but on the most part are priced 10 times more expensive than France. Remember I am located in Berlin so it is a mix of western and old east. French lace bits are more delicate whereas Germany has things with more structure. Think here, but not limited to crochet vs bobbin lace. It does not mean bobbin lace can't be found, quite the contrary, it can, just at a price. Crochet is much cheaper here. Almost a stereotype, but not quite. It is just different and has to do with fashion and household taste.

Case in point. I found this at a second hand church based shop:
The Battenburg lace is modern and the center portion is a cotton/linen interior. It could have been made in China, but the way the fabric center was attached says maybe different. First the color of the interior looks to be something that would match a German home. It is that love of Orange, second is the workmanship of how the fabric was attached. 
I have seen so many China made items but this one screamed made at home, at least the center was attached in Germany. Too bad I already removed the centers from the small ones. The workmanship was horrible. The Chinese ones I have seen have been, sorry to say, better. The lace tape is different from the Chinese ones I have seen as well, but my vote is that the Battenburg was done in China and possibly the orange was done here by someone who does not sew well. I love these since the smaller ones have so many uses. The set consisted of the large one and 5 little rounds. Once the lovely orange center is removed, here is of the small ones: 
Think of the uses! I love broaches and above is one of them I have found. I think it is beautiful.

Other finds are vintage buttons: 
Mother of Pearl based buttons are not inexpensive, but the variety is a nice find in both vintage and modern. 

I love old broaches and jewelry and buy them when I find them. Orphaned earrings are the best as you can get usable pearls and such out of them for pennies. I mean who buys just one earring? Other finds are charms and metal buttons. Metal buttons due to Trachen (think Munich and Oktoberfest) German wear. Horn buttons are also available.
The big surprise was to find Dorset buttons. Why here and why are they everywhere? I feel research coming on.The bigger question is now that I bought them, what am I going to do with them?
Next up, fabric finds. Stay tuned. But before you go, here is one of the things I am working on right now.
I bit off quite a bit on this one. The hand sewing required is amazing but I am loving the look so far. Oh and here was the original picture of the lace finds in Brittany France:


  1. I enjoy reading your posts as they are full of wonderful found treasures and love the information you share-Kathy

  2. Jean, I love seeing all your finds, is the photo above going to be a lace jacket? It looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. Beautiful post! You have found some wonderful items to work with. All the buttons and lace are gorgeous!