Dealer John Gillow all wrapped up at at a World Textile Day ( event in the UK.

Image: Oxford Asian Textile Group

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London is buzzing with fairs at the beginning of October. They include the Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair in Battersea Park - all the better to attract plenty of fashion and interior designers to the Textile Society’s annual London Antique and Vintage Textile Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall on Sunday, October 8.

Among the exhibitors are two of the most distinguished names in the textiles world: John Gillow and Martin Conlan of Slow Loris Textiles.

Historian, collector, prolific author and lecturer Gillow has spent 35 years travelling the world to research and collect the textiles of India and south-east Asia, while Conlan’s speciality is the textile arts and crafts of Chinese tribal minorities (the stand will include indigo-dyed and Oriental clothing).

Also on the exhibitor list is the well-known dealer Meg Andrews, who sells antique dress and textiles including Arts & Crafts textiles, and Richard Smith of the Point Paper Art Company which deals in wall art taken from the company’s historic archive collections.

The society will be welcoming 40 trade exhibitors to the fair as well as seven bursary winners. These bursary schemes were established in 1992 by the Antique Textile Fairs, as the event was known back then, and have flourished with the support of the profit-making event.


A view of the 2022 London Antique and Textile Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall.

One of this year’s bursary winners is Saffron Gilbert of the University of the Arts London, Central St Martins whose textile project investigated ritual burial processes in the use of wools for burial blankets. One of last year’s professional awards went to Frances Casey for her research project on embroidery created by wounded men at Netley Cross Hospital during the First World War

ATG readers are offered £1 off the £8 general entry tickets 12noon entrance when booking online through quoting the code LONDON23 or by showing a copy of ATG at the ticket desk. Priority early bird/tradeentry from 10am costs £15.

Taunton tempts

Staying with textiles but this time in Somerset, dealer Liz van Hasselt will be back with her Textiles and Fabrics Brocante and Autumn Attic Sale on Saturday, September 30, at Oake Village Hall, near Taunton.

Here the hall will be packed with antique and vintage French textiles, dress and upholstery fabrics, linens, quilts, toile and lace.

One of the exhibitors is Tara Franklin of the Hoof Brocante who runs the Potting Shed Brocantes at St John’s Nursery in Etchingham, Kent, with the next on Friday and Saturday, October 20-21.

If you can’t make the Oake Village Hall event there is a pop-up textile fair on Saturday, October 2, in Lydeard St Lawrence, also near Taunton.

Contact Van Hasselt about both her brocantes through her blog

Also in Somerset…

Looking further into October, the biannual Vintage Bazaar in the Somerset town of Frome brings together in April and October 40 dealers in antique textiles, vintage fashion and French brocante.

It is run by Clare Powell and held in the Cheese and Grain, the town’s cultural centre, with the next on Saturday October 28. Vintage Christmas decorations are apparently making a showing.

Every month, apart from the two live events, Powell organises a virtual vintage bazaar on Instagram.