Sunday 23 October 2011

Guest Post: Vintage Love - Clothkits Puppets

Today I'm sharing a post from Nicola of Pouch about Clothkits, a much-loved British company that's recently had a revival. Nicola says... "I love vintage fabric and crafting eco friendly products. Via my online store, I sell a range of vintage fabric bags, purses, accessories and housewares. I also like to blog about vintage finds, my latest crafting project, share interesting eco websites and champion the handmade movement here in the UK and worldwide."

I love these vintage handmade puppets, not just because they are bright and well designed, but because my Mum made them for me and my brother to play with. I am a pretty sentimental person, and these puppets bring back lots of happy memories, particularly of my Mum sewing at the dining table. They are designed by Clothkits and date from late early 1980s. Clothkits was a big part of our childhood, my Mum regularly ordered kits to make clothes for herself and for me. I remember the pre-printed fabric arriving through the post, my Mum would pour over the instructions and then the sewing machine came out...

Alongside clothes, Clothkits also made toys. This set of four puppets features a lion, an elephant, a tiger and a clown. They are bright and chunky and really appeal to small children. So much so that my brother's daughter regularly performs puppet shows at Grandma's house. Now I have my own daughter, she has also grown to love these puppets, either playing with them herself or watching one of the many shows performed by her cousin. My brother's daughter has had us all in stitches with her stories, which mainly revolve around the fact the lion cannot be King of the Jungle because he is wearing a vest. Its amazing how much fun children can have with four simple puppets and lots of imagination...

Clothkits is such a brilliant business model, as it says on their website they sell "well designed clothes without the fuss of paper patterns. All the cutting lines are printed directly on the fabric in a simple format that means even the inexperienced can make garments with ease."

I'm so glad the company has had something of a revival since 2008, it would a shame to lose a business that plays such an important part in my generation's memories. They even have a lovely collection of archive photos uploaded by members of the public on their website. It's worth having a look to see if you recognise anything you wore as a child!

And with the growing popularity of 'make do and mend' and sewing in general, a whole new generation of people are falling in love with the company.


Visit Nicola's shop to buy cushions, bags and cute lavender animals made with vintage fabric, or check out her blog to read more about her favourite thrifted finds.


Tumus said...

That's really cool :) I should look them up.

K said...

My Mom made us the same puppets, except the clown was made into a cuddly toy. They still get played with by her grandkids now

jason @ gold work embroidery said...

My kids loved puppets and we regularly had shows at the kitchen hatch, with stories of differing believability.

Now I have a grandson, I want him to do the same.