brimfield 2011: textiles

by Kate Pruitt

Amy, Grace and I were discussing the inevitable “tunnel vision” that occurs at big shows like Brimfield, and the point really hit home when a woman came rushing up to us and asked in desperation, “Have any of you seen any large gas-station signs for sale anywhere?” The inquiry made us a) incredibly curious as to why she needed a gas sign so badly, and b) wonder if maybe we had seen them, but since we weren’t interested in them, they just never registered. When you see so much stuff at once, it makes sense that your own personal biases would naturally create a filter in your mind. That was basically a long way of saying this: We had Navajo rugs on the brain, so this post about textiles will be largely devoted to Navajo rugs because, well, we like them, and we took notice of them.

There were actually a lot of great rugs at Brimfield beyond the selection of Navajo designs we were eyeing. One vendor had some incredible overdyed rugs, such as the purple one shown below, but unfortunately, those rugs seemed a bit cost-prohibitive for the casual buyer. On the second day, there was a cluster of vendors who specialized in colonial wares, and they had some incredible textiles including simple linens, burlap and lacy cottons that would have been great to turn into rustic table linens or curtains. I won’t try to argue that the selection here represents all that Brimfield had to offer in the way of textiles, but these are the styles that caught our eye this year. Enjoy! — Kate

CLICK HERE to see more Brimfield textiles after the jump!

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  • Kate,
    I’ve been looking for a large navajo rug to go in my dining room for quite some time (I’ve tried ebay, etsy, craigslist, you name it) and all of the ones I’ve come across (and liked) were rather pricey… maybe b/c they’re authentic but just out of curiousity, how much were some of the larger (say 5×7 or 6×9 range) rugs going for at Brimfield?

    I’m swooning for all of the above flatwoven geometric wools!!

  • Calli – We actually bought some rugs for a friend and we got a great deal on a bunch of navajo ones—$300 for 8 rugs of varying sizes— but most of them were in need of repair or serious cleaning. At most of the other booths, they were going for $200 for a small rug to $800 for the larger ones in really great condition.

  • Wonderful! I’m not so much into the overdyed ones but absolutely love the Navajo rugs. My parents bought two of them in the seventies and they always have been my favorites!

  • Wow, those are still great prices compared to what I’ve seen… this alone is making me seriously consider a trip to the show next year. I’m sure the plane ticket and cost of travelling will override the cost of a rug but I’m always down for an awesome antique show experience!
    Thanks for the info and great post! i’m sold.

  • I love Navajo rugs and have many requests for them this year. The major negative thing about them are the dyes are inferior, especially the red, so be careful when washing them because most often they will run!

  • PB,
    I’ve looked at both old and new. I actually like the older ones b/c they tend to have some character and wear to them, something I enjoy incorporating into my home.

  • oh brimfield…so lovely. i saw a lot of great rugs this year. i just posted some pics on my blog that i snapped on friday there, including some wonderful finds i found for my new apartment!


  • Kate, I have a rug that I would like to dye, much like that bright purple one shown in your pictures. Do you know how I can do this? I’d love a how-to! THANKS!

  • Does anyone have the contact information for that rug vendor? We have been looking all over for a good Navajo rug, they are hard to come by!

  • You may want to contact this org navajolifeway.org as they have direct access to weavers/rugs; their June event will have juried rug show – these textiles are for sale too.

  • Great post…I just recently found a 8X10 Navajo rug on craigslist for $35! I couldn’t believe it!!

  • These are ALL gorgeous!! The rug right beneath the purple one is my favorite!! I have been on the hunt for a reasonably priced rug just like this!

  • Wow pic brimfield_textiles_5.jpg is so reminiscent of a turkish kilim in design – i want so bad it hurts. if its less than the black market cost of my kidney (most kilim rugs now are not) i would buy it in a heart beat.

  • Did they have any really old, worn oriental rugs there?I need to match one I have in my kitchen. I think I see some under a tapestry in one shot. I have to go to the next Brimfield if they do!

    • Hi Carol! There certainly are a lot of worn oriental rugs! :) It’s definitely worth a trip! Cheers, Amy :)

  • I am in textile heaven right now with this post. It’s all so beautiful it makes me want to cover every inch of my home in fabric. But… not really. Haha.