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Where do Pillow Talk fringes come from?

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fringes cabinet

The fast answer is they come from this packed cabinet. I honestly don’t know which I love more, the fabrics and weavings or the trimmings for them. The real term for them is passementerie. The French word includes the making of elaborate edgings, braid, gold or silver cord, embroidery, fringes, pompoms, rosettes, tassels, and beads. The Guild of Passementiers was created in the 16th century to recognize the skill and art required. Most of the fringes I use have European origins.

For centuries, clothing with passementerie was reserved for elites, royalty, aristocracy, and religious vestments. Opulent homes were showplaces for trims and tassels. They still are but technology has made the skills of hand making the fringes. That’s why I scoop up any very old trims for Pillow Talk pillows.

I have collected discontinued and antique trimmings for 4 decades. I have between 300 and 400 trims in the workroom. Sometimes it’s just a half yard, other times a dozen yards. I compete with set designers and costumiers in my search of rare passementerie.

I take a good deal of time selecting just the right edging for the extraordinary needlepoints and Aubusson weavings I’m able to source.  Often the value of the trims I apply is $200 a yard or even more. Certainly, they are irreplaceable. Enjoy.

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