Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress




Curtain under construction, interlined, awaiting lining.

I have been making some 3m high beautiful silk interlined curtains for a Victorian house in Lewes.  Sumptuous and fab to work with if a little scary @ !!$$££ per metre fabric. (These– James Hare silks, can be bought via me and the sample books are to be found at Foam and Fabrics Seaford – I have a good deal with them so if you’re interested please contact me.

Silk curtains look particularly wonderful in a bedroom setting  There is nothing like silk, and all the synthetic copies in the world will not look like silk, feel like silk or behave like silk. AND are petroleum based so personally I am not in favour; if there is a choice to be made I would always choose a natural fabric.
These are quite theatrical in their look being salmon pink  and compliment the blue velvets of another guest bedroom for this client who works  in the music business.

The only downside to silk curtains is that they are really susceptible to ‘sun rot’ so it is essential to line and interline and to bring the lining as far over to cover as much as the silk as possible.  The windows for these curtains face north, north-east, so not too much of an issue, but in time though the leading edges -where the curtains meet in the middle and are exposed to the light- will rot and fray.  These can however be taken back to the undamaged silk relatively easily when the curtain is completely hand made like this one.

The header we used on these is one particularly suited to silk, a 1” cotton loose gathering tape, this gives a really casual but soft gather to the top of the curtain.

Brass poles and fittings from the long established Charles Rowley company complete the look, and are well made enough to the take the weight of these heavier curtains.




Indestructible petroleum based clothing…  why it’s a problem not a boon.

I wash my clothes and when the weather is ok dry it outside,- I live in a windy spot. My son had a polyester jumper – a cheap thing bought when he was a student.  It got hung on the line one day, but unbeknown to us blew off the line into my neighbour’s garden. Olly just thought he’d left it somewhere. It was a mystery.  My neighbour’s an elderly chap and rarely goes into his garden.  So two years later, I’m talking to him over the fence near the washing line, on one of odd occasions he’s out, and there at his feet is the long lost jumper.  He hands it to me, it’s sort of a bit green with some sort of algae, but other than that no holes or anything.  I wash it, it comes up just fine, I give it back to my son, who carries on wearing it for another year or so, then inevitably he gets bored with it and off it goes to the charity shop or did we take it to the textile recycling?  Anyway,it’s out there still, somewhere! Whereas if it had been wool, cotton, bamboo, hemp or silk, it would have melted into the earth.  But polyester?  No chance.

If nothing in our natural world knows how to break down this stuff we’ve been making thanks to the marvels of science, (cough), then it will stay cluttering up our planet for how long?  Apparently minimum of 20 to 200 years. Not only that but a new study that found washing synthetic fabrics creates teeny plastic fibres that get swept out to see and these can invade the cells of mussels and other creatures, and generally wreak havoc.


Here’s a link to the what fabrics are biodegradeable and what isn’t.