Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress

CURTAIN QUALITY = CURTAIN LONGEVITY, WWII CURTAINS STILL IN USE

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I can and do make curtains of quality that will last. The relationship between buying quality and the likelihood that such curtains will last is still attainable.    With other items such as white goods, the ability of actually finding something that is designed to last is actually really difficult if not impossible. Such is the nature of capitalism which is at odds with such a principle.  Fast turnover of goods is supposed to be good for the economy and for ‘growth’… an interesting term that has co-opted nature into an abstract concept that drives the world at present and that actually causes untold harm to the natural environment.  This is the dichotomy we face if we want to live sustainably on this one earth.  But it is possible to invest in quality curtains that will last a long time – if you want them too?  My grandmother  did just that in the 1940’s and invested in three sets of beautiful velvet curtains, that my family not only still have but still use, to the present day.  They are made from thick cotton velvet, and are lined – this being a must for preventing or allaying UV light damage, and dust and dirt damage.   They have had to be re-lined, twice in the last 70 or so years. Have been washed – yes washed, carefully with soap in the bath.  We pass them around our family according to our respective needs at the time, and personally I love and cherish the connection that they embody with our ancestors.   Of course what is it that comes with this choice – to go with something already made?  This will unnerve many, and there would be a degree of resistance to the very idea.  Why? – Because we are so wrapped up that our sense of identity being expressed mostly through the STUFF that we surround ourselves with.  There is disquiet because we haven’t exercised our choice in the matter; that these particular items were not expressive of us and our aesthetics, ( and I have known people who were literally disgusted to have something in their home that had belonged and been touched by someone else).  The décor might have to be built around the curtains, or heaven forbid they might not ‘go’ at all!  Perhaps last but not least by just going with what is means that a valuable shopping opportunity – the No. 1, leisure activity of us 21st people – would be lost.