January 6, 2012

Vintage, Upcycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Retro (Take 2)

Ok carrying on from yesterday here goes…   

There are a number of “buzz” words that have been floating around for a while in the handmade market place which on the surface always just seemed to be ploys to pass off second hand goods as fancier then they really are.

But as I have discovered there is more to it then that.

Lets start with upcycling which I assumed was always just another term for recycling – whereas recycling is taking something you would usually dispose of as waste and finding another use for it upcycling takes the process one step further and actually improves on the quality or value of the item.  

{So if I take an old sheet and make it into a dress then I have upcycled the sheet (well done me!)} 

Another popular term is “vintage”  - things that were once old are now new again but how old does something have to be to considered as a vintage item?  The simplest criteria I found for this was on Etsy – where to have something listed as vintage it needs to be more then 20 years old.  So that technically means anything from 1992 or before.  (Wonder if anyone wants to by a “vintage” Sandgate High school uniform circa 1992?)  

{So if my old sheet is more then 20 years old then the dress  I have made is also a vintage item} 
The term “retro” differs from vintage in that while something in the style of an earlier time it could have been made yesterday.  

{So if my dress is a 1950s inspired house coat then  it would also be considered “retro” (I’m on fire here!)}
While I’m on this topic I also have a confession to make – I have a bit of a collection of vintage fabrics, mainly upcycled from old bed linens.  And I am loathe to use them as I know that once I have then unlike the majority of my contemporary stash I can’t just order more.  I love to sift through them and dream of the things I could make but its not very often I actually cut into them.  

In pride of place of this collection is a Holly Hobbie sheet set that was gifted to me from a friend of mine after I spotted one of the sheets peaking out from under a bed in her children's' room.  However I will be cutting into this week to make dress for the daughter of the same friend.  I am hoping it will cure me of my reluctance to actually create anything with my “vintage” stash as some of the fabrics are just delightful and need freeing from the drawer in which they currently reside.  

Stay tuned for a progress report (and all going well some pictures…)

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