Preview: The London Textiles Fair Is Back This Autumn

By Sandy Carr

7 months ago

Get your art fix

At the Tribal, Antique and Decorative Textiles Fair, you can expect top textile dealers showing an intoxicating array of stunning textiles from the 18th-century onwards, says Sandy Carr – and the next event will take place on Sunday 19 November. 

Preview: The London Textiles Fair Is Back This Autumn

The London Antique and Decorative Textiles Fair is becoming a biannual mecca for lovers of gorgeous textiles. The next event will take place on 19 November at St Mary Abbot’s Centre, Vicarage Gate, near Kensington Church Street. Top textiles dealers from the UK and elsewhere will again be showing beautiful textiles from all over the world and covering a span of time from 18th-century French patterned cottons and Edwardian costume to mid-century modernism. This will be the last opportunity to see such a wondrous array in one London venue until June 2024.

Among the delights on offer there will be, from Africa, Ghanaian ewe and kente cloth, Nigerian indigo, and Cameroonian ‘ndop’;  Japanese ‘boro’, furoshiki wrapping cloths, vibrant silk kimonos, haori and obis, shibori scarves, indigo work jackets; dazzling Afghan and Uzbek ikats and kaftans; fantastically intricate Chinese robes, wedding skirts and Cantonese shawls; South-East Asian tribal batiks and embroidered textiles;  exquisite Ottoman hand-woven and silk-stitched ceremonial ‘towels’; Turkish striped sashes and throws;  gorgeous peasant blouses, boleros, aprons. skirts and embroideries from the Balkans, Russia and Eastern Europe;  rare antique pieces from all over India; early French hand-blocked ‘indiennes’  and ‘flamme’ ikats; and English country linen smocks, Arts and Crafts embroideries and modernist masterpieces from the likes of Lucienne Day and Marian Mahler. The range and quality of the items on show will as usual be simply stupendous.

As well as textiles of every shape, origin, age and hue, dealers specialising in ethnographic/tribal artefacts and jewellery will also be showing their stuff including extraordinary Oceanic sculptures, shell collars, Cameroonian cache-sexe and Zulu and Xhosa beadwork.

This event has become a not-to-be-missed hunting ground for anyone involved in the textile design, interiors, costume and wardrobe industries as well as passionate collectors, students of art and design, enthusiasts and those simply interested in feasting their eyes on beautiful things.  Of course, there are amazing, rare and expensive pieces here but also smaller and surprisingly reasonable items that are very affordable and may well supply that uniquely desirable hard-to-find Christmas present.  As an experience of uplifting colour and gorgeousness in the dark days of late autumn and winter, it is hard to beat.

The Tribal, Antique and Decorative Textiles Fair will take place at St Mary Abbot’s Centre, Vicarage Gate, London W8 4HN on Sunday 19 November 2023 from 10am-5pm. Early entry: 10-11am £10; free entry from 11am, no ticket required.

For more information, call 07948 538075