Friday, July 26, 2013

Vintage Metallic Trims...The Hunt

When I started making pillows I was always
trying to find the French and Italian
Metallic Gimps that go back through
 the ages.
I dream of the trims that I saw in 
paintings such as this.
Just look at size of the braids
on these uniforms! 
The metal thread is usually wrapped around
a coil to give it a raised look.
Metallic bullion..
always the perfect
 trim for
the ends of pillows.
Isn't this detail beautiful?  
And I love the worn and aged silk.
These trims are not only difficult to find, but are 
extremely expensive.  I found a real
nice lot at a church rummage
sale probably 20 years ago and
still use it sparingly. 

One of the best sources is vestments
and ecclesiastical religious items.

Pieces, just pieces.
  This Russian garment I found on
ETSY and if you just take the trims and bullion
off carefully it would be worth it.
The church never scrimps. 

A pillow maker I admire is
Born in the south she knew how to
sew and sought out tapestries, trims
and textile elements at the
antique shops in New Orleans.
Her pillows I consider works of art.

In 1999 Rebecca got her first order for her pillows 
from Nieman Marcus, 
of course, 
and the rest is history.

She has such a brilliant style and her 
pillows are perfection.
Rebecca travels throughout
 the world looking for the exceptional
 historical pieces
that make her pillows so desirable.
Just the right balance of not too much, 
as the fabrics and the trims speak for themselves.
Each pillow has that incredible deluxe
look that you know when you see it,
 that Rebecca has created it. 
She works with Aubusson fragments, 
antique velvets, vintage Fortuny and 
saves these works of art
 for future generations to enjoy.

To the average shopper they look old
and used.  To the trained eye, with some
historical knowledge, they are iconic.

Her pillows run from the hundreds
 to thousands of dollars, but you know they are
 real treasures and one on a sofa
can "make" a room.

You can find replicas of metallic gimps
 and embellishments
 in the terrific
 trim shops in NYC and Paris, 
but I really enjoy the hunt to find
the real thing.
Is this the same as foraging for truffles?
Keep an eye out, you just never know
when you will find a piece to make
a pillow you will treasure forever.
My "Holy Grail" would be to find one
 of these wonderful royal banners.
Can you imagine this as 
a pillow?


  1. very interesting post, I lost track of time and can't access the internet at work and missed out on that adorable pillow. Anxiously waiting for more listings:) Have a great weekend.

    1. have until Sunday midnight to enter the "I Married Adventure" giveaway! Just go to and enter. You might get lucky!

  2. Jane thank you so much for getting the word out on your Feature and Giveaway on my site!

    This post is so unbelievable! I am in awe of the treasured pillows and trims. Rebecca is as amazing as you are! I will now keep my eyes open when I am out and about.

    2013 Designer Series

  3. Great post. I always wanted to live in a yurt. The Simplicity pattern is a riot.

  4. Beautiful post! And yes, I would die for one or two of those banners.


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