It is always a pleasure to meet fellow, vintage textile lovers and I had the honour of meeting interior designer, Victoria Barker from Studio Faeger. Read on for more about our chat about all things vintage and interiors. 

Raised in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District and now living between London and the Cotswolds, Victoria started her career as a florist honouring the Royal Family before attending design school at Chelsea Harbour to study interior design & interior architecture. Prior to Studio Faeger, she has worked on a large number of projects UK-wide for a well-established London design studio.

Studio Faeger is a London and Cotswolds-based interior design studio creating un-forced and personable spaces with a unique identity, defining the beauty between the space, objects within it and the being.



Victoria Barker sat at a vintage table looking at the camera

How do you go about incorporating them into your work? What is the best way to display them?

We work with a lot of antique cloth, all of which has very different values and make up, from age to condition and some is of course better suited to upholstery and others to curtains/blinds and cushions. 

Our work is generally fairly clean and simple, with warming, earthy paint colours and natural finishes, so we tend to use patterned antique fabric to bring a richness and interest to the scheme; be it a battered stripe or vintage Colefax chintz. 

My very favourite to work with is antique kelsch cloth. It’s amazing for both upholstery, curtains and cushions, and seems to sit happily for a more grown up scheme, as well as children or teenagers bedrooms as it is often a woven linen, which just seems to relax everything when a project is all pristine and new. 

Where to start when using vintage textiles? 

It is always best to see it in the flesh when you are buying; check the quality of the weave, the price tag will often tell you this if you are buying from an experienced seller who knows what they are talking about. I have my go to sellers who I repeatedly buy from as they can guarantee the quality. It's also helpful to know they will be cleaned and washed when they arrive! 

Where print is involved, you can't go wrong buying well known fabric houses antique remnants. Haines have a great range of vintage Colefax and Folwer and Laura Ashley. For ticking I tend to buy antique Swedish tickings or French mattress covers, and for kelsch cloth its generally always French linen kelsch, 17th and 18th century in a beautiful red or blue check. 

Just ensure what you are buying is fit for purpose, and don’t worry if it has a few holes, it's even better when you patch it or hand stitch it with a thick visible woollen thread, I love to see the age of the fabrics and their holes telling tales of their past lives.

Section of a blue and white striped chairWe have a few cushions made up in our new shop demonstrating this and its so lovely to give things a new lease of life to live on again. 


Can they inspire a whole scheme?

Absolutely, although we tend to feel more is more when decorating with vintage textiles, especially in a mass of stripes;  HOWE are a fabulous example of this. If it’s a chintz it’s a little more pigeon holed as it’s a very specific look, but they are amazing for setting the tone of the room and layering in new slubby linens or less expensive tickings alongside them. A good old chintz can be expensive, but its well worth it when its centre stage and you often save costs layering in with the less expensive linens, tickings and corduroy. 

Unique creative ways of working with vintage textiles?

I often use an antique stripe or ticking to patch in a check kelsch cloth as the two scales work well together and it's nice having the two combined into one. We do this a lot with upholstery, on a chair for example, where the seat cushion may be made from an old mattress cover, that’s patched in with a kelsch cloth that’s used on the body of the chair. The back and outside arms may then be done in a new linen to help balance the cost of the antique fabric so you don’t need a lot. 

Why do you love working with vintage textiles?

For me, it’s the way they immediately relax a scheme, and help everything settle so it feels timeless, like it has evolved with time, despite the project just being completed. It is cheaper buying vintage cloth that is made to such an amazing hand woven quality than new hand woven fabrics, and I like the story they tell. I tend to only buy natural linen or cotton textiles when antique too, so they feel very natural and help soften everything. 

Why would you recommend for others to try vintage textiles?

We all need to work hard and do our best to be as sustainable as possible, and this is a great way within the industry to work towards that. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many beautiful new fabrics out there but its important to be aware of what you are buying and try to be conscious to understand how and where that fabric is made, where the initial fibres came from. How the ink that it has printed on was produced and how far it may have travelled to be sold to you. I try to pick up vintage textiles in person, at markets, but of course a lot come from abroad, so sending them as sustainably as possible is also important. It’s a great way to reduce waste but also make the most of such a beautiful scheme. 

What would your top 3 tips be for anyone looking to start with vintage textiles?

See what you can find and pick up, large quantities or small, start with making a lavender bag or a cushion and if you don’t have much, then do the reverse in a linen or corduroy. 

Try draping a piece of antique cloth or a vintage quilt over your headboard (a great way to save money re-upholstering the bed and add pattern to your room), or over the back of the sofa for layering in some comfort. Make sure what you are buying is clean or has been cleaned, and also isn’t moth ridden. Generally, natural fibre vintage cloth is great (although I don’t buy a lot of antique wool as it tends to be a but musky and can be prone to moth damage). Linen check kelsch cloth is always fab, and any French or Swedish antique cushions. Also Romanian grain sacks make great bolster or bench cushions, and even bath mats!