If you have ever visited markets abroad, especially with a strong folklore tradition, you know you’re likely to find some gorgeous woven or embroidered textiles. Rugs, blankets, stacks of fabric. I have come back with suitcases full, from the souks in Marrakesh and the markets in Ecuador. You can often get carried away, blinded by the bold colours and beautiful patterns. Once home, you end up wondering what to do with all that fabric. Mine ended up neatly folded away in the wardrobe for years waiting patiently to be put to use. Sounds familiar?
I thought I’d gather some ideas today for things to do with textiles from exotic markets, so they will hopefully take pride of place in your home from now on. Because they are ideal to give any room the Wow factor and a good splash of personality. And more importantly, they will take you back to the wonderful places where you found them… Show them off!
1. Frame them
This is a great idea for any smaller bit of fabric (or even wallpaper!) you love and want to show off. Hang them in a group and create a gallery of your favourite textiles.
2. Throw them on your bed
Layer, layer, layer. Those large rugs and blankets look fabulous spread over your bed, and keep your warm too. Don’t be afraid to use different patterns and colours. Combine them to create a lovely bohemian feel.
3. Make cushions. And then make some more.
A pretty obvious one, but cushions are a great way of using your souvenir – or any found or vintage – textiles. Also great to use outdoors on the patio or veranda in summer to bring back that holiday feeling.
4. Hang ’em up
Larger pieces of fabric or rugs can be put up as wall hangings behind your bed, above the sofa or in hallways. They make a great statement. Add a rod to the top to prevent sagging.
Last but not least, there are some amazing examples of oriental kilims and other folklore fabrics used as upholstery on chairs and ottomans. It seems a shame to cut up your nice fabrics, but at least this way they will get used and admired for many years.
Like what you see? All image sources and more ideas can be found in my Textiles Pinterest board.