October 28, 1996 |
To see the light through their taut silky sides is like gazing into another time. These classic, cream-colored lamp shades, with scallops and gold-fringe trim, now cast an antique glow in a world gone neon. "Philadelphia was the mecca of lamps and shades," said Mark Blum, president of Alga Saxe Lampshade Inc. "Now, we're one of the last left. " In a loft factory building near Chinatown, Alga Saxe and its 20 employees turn out 1,500 hand-sewn lamp shades a week. The Philadelphia lamp and lamp-shade industry, which once sprawled through the city's industrial quarters, has mostly moved south.
May 2, 2008
If you've never made a pillow before, The Pillow Book (Chronicle Books, $24.95), by Shannon Okey with photos by Gemma Comas, is a good place to start. For one thing, it contains basic advice about fabrics and pillow accents: nothing too precious if you have kids; nothing dry-clean-only if you anticipate stains; nothing too tempting to cats (tassels, fringe and the like); no mixing materials with different washing requirements. Plus, the book offers a solid foundation in those core steps of sewing prep: pre-wash, pre-shrink and pre-press.
December 10, 1999 |
Walk into the CoCo:Chenille shop in Lambertville, N.J., and you could curl up and go to sleep, surrounded by stacks and piles of recycled chenille bedspreads. Just a little nap, maybe, where you wake up all warm and cozy, with that chenille imprint on your cheek. We're not talking rayon chenille - the kind that's made into plush scarves and throws. We're talking vintage chenille: the cotton bedspreads with little tufts that covered your mother's or grandmother's bed. These chenille bedspreads fell out of fashion in the 1960s.
August 25, 1995 |
In a child's room, screens serve various uses, from artfully dividing space to showing off memorabilia. Their movable-feast quality works two ways: They can be moved physically as the room or your child's space needs change. And they can be re-covered or otherwise updated with a minimum of time, cost and effort, so they grow with your child. Painted brightly, pasted with posters or covered in wallpaper, these wood and fabric partitions create atmosphere while personalizing a room.
February 12, 1998 |
Other people may recycle cans, bottles and newspapers. The children of Overbrook Educational Center reuse fabric. The students made quilts from scraps of pillows, T-shirts and baby blankets pulled from the bottom of drawers and closets in their homes. The quilts taught them that anything, no mattered how tattered, could gain new purpose and meaning. "We recycled to carry on the memories," said Bahiyah Abdul Malik, a sixth grader at the Philadelphia public school, at Lansdowne Avenue and 68th Street.
January 6, 1993 |
Dear Polly: My granddaughter enjoys paper dolls, but they are always tearing - in particular, the heads tear off. I'm looking for hints to pass along to her to help keep this from happening. Any tips for prolonging the life of paper dolls? - Mrs. A.J. Dear Mrs. A.J.: I loved paper dolls as a child, as did my mother before me. Indeed, several of my favorite paper-doll sets had been hers which she passed along to me. I wish I'd had some of these pointers to cope with floppy heads, torn-off arms and other paper doll mishaps: Glue a popsicle stick to the back of each doll, extending right up into the head area.
July 9, 1986 |
Lighting Factory Outlet in the Northeast is a very large, well-stocked operation that sells lamps, ceiling fixtures and lamp shades at a hefty discount. I visited the outlet recently and found: A 32-inch-high Stiffel brass-finish table lamp with unusual scroll-like base design. Includes pleated fabric shade and three-way base switch. List $365; $239 here. A Westwood solid brass table lamp with silk pleated shade. The 32-inch high lamp features a chalice-like design. At Lighting Factory Outlet, it's lamp is $201 ($358 list)
August 3, 1992 |
Willi Smith, who took much of his design inspiration from the style of the street, would have loved the idea of taking fashion out of the studio and placing it under the stars. That's exactly what five local designers intend to do when they present the International Fashion Montage at Dell East in Fairmount Park on Friday. According to Ron Wilch, of the South Philly-based Ron Wilch Couture, the show is as much a tribute to the talent and influence of Smith, who died of AIDS in 1987, as it is a showcase for himself and fellow designers Kelvin Rice, Nadine Artis, Alex Rappley and Dale Mitchell.
June 4, 1992 |
What does the Anchor Dyeing and Finishing Co., a fabric processing company in Frankford, have in common with a fabric company in Mongolia? Answer: The hair of the two-humped Bactrian camel. And a new technique for camel hair processing developed by Amicale Industries Inc., Anchor Dyeing's parent company in New York. These two common threads - the need for raw material here and the need for new technology there - have led to the formation of a new company, MongolAmicale, the first joint venture between a Mongolian company and an American firm following the restoration of commercial ties with the United States in 1990.
December 16, 1991 |
Treva Wire held a bundle of finer-than-human-hair silk fibers under a dryer, turning it and observing the color she had just dyed it. "You have to have a good eye for color matching," said Wire, head of the dye crew at Blue Bird Fabrics Corp. "You have to be able to formulate colors right. Do you need red mixed with a little orange or a blue tinge, maybe even a green tinge?" Proper dying is only part of the process silk goes through at Blue Bird, a family-held and -operated firm whose products are made into expensive neckties, women's wear and upholstery.