Inspiring Interviews

Tips For Finding Great Second-Hand Textiles from Stacy Jackson

We love all types of textiles here at Printfresh… especially those that allow us to be more environmentally conscious. That’s why we love shopping second-hand. If you would like to invest in preowned textiles, but don’t know where to start, that's okay. We asked Stacy Jackson, the founder of Meadowsweet Mercantile to give us some of her best tips for buying second-hand textiles. 
December 2021
Tips For Finding Great Second-Hand Textiles from Stacy Jackson
Tips For Finding Great Second-Hand Textiles from Stacy Jackson

When it comes to curating older textiles, Stacy is an expert. She’s incredibly passionate about vintage quilts so she knows a thing or two about high-quality materials. If you’re looking to start sourcing second-hand textiles yourself, start with a few of her tips below.

PF:

For someone new to finding second-hand textiles, what things should you look for when shopping?

SJ:

Vintage and antique textiles show quality and are timeless. You want to look for natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk. Check the condition of the garment or textile; It should have a nice sturdy feel. Most antique textiles will have some imperfection and wear, but I personally find that some of these ‘flaws’ add to the charm of the piece. 

I recommend these tips when searching for textiles for your home and wardrobe. There isn’t much of a difference for me, in either case, I’m always on the hunt for quality materials and older pieces as these are key to my needs.

PF:

How do you sort through everything to find the gems without getting overwhelmed?

SJ:

I avoid looking at a giant pile of textile en masse. This can be overwhelming and cause you to overlook damages that can impact the longevity of the textile. Take your time, and go through each piece individually. If you need to, move each piece away from the pile and examine it.

PF:

Since you’re located in the Philadelphia area do you have any go-to stores to find textiles in Pennsylvania or the greater Philadelphia area? For our readers who aren’t in this region, can you share some tips on the kind of places they should look for to source amazing textiles?

SJ:

My suggestion for local sources for antique and vintage textiles would be Ten Church in Lambertville or Briar Vintage. Outside of Pennsylvania, I would look through local antique stores and outdoor markets, and specialty sales or events.

Tips For Finding Great Second-Hand Textiles from Stacy Jackson
Tips For Finding Great Second-Hand Textiles from Stacy Jackson
PF:

Do you have any tips for cleaning or caring for textiles that are old or are a little worn?

SJ:

In most cases, a gentle wash and air dry should do the trick. It’s important that you handle your items with the respect they deserve. True vintage items have served their purpose for many years and with proper care will have many more ahead of them.

PF:

What is your personal favorite second-hand textile?

SJ:

I have many antique quilts, and my favorite is a mid-1800s Empty Basket pattern. It has gorgeous Turkey red and indigo blue calico with a homespun backing.

PF:

Since we’re a sleepwear company, we have to ask about your sleepwear preferences and nighttime routine!

SJ:

When it comes to your PJs, are you into matching sets or mix and match? - Mix and Match!

Slippers: Yes or no? - No, my dogs will eat them.

What’s the one part of your nighttime routine you never skip? - A piping hot shower.

What’s always on your bedside table? - A hefty stack of home inspiration books and periodicals

Night owl or early riser? - Night owl

What’s your favorite breakfast in bed? - Black coffee

If you want to learn more about Stacy or Meadowsweet Mercantile, you can follow her on Instagram. Do you have a favorite second-hand or vintage textile in your home or wardrobe? Tell us about it in the comments or snap a picture and tag us on Instagram!

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