A wide range of time periods dating back to the 1860s and up through the 1970s, along with every style and vintage item imaginable, could be found at the debut of Marion’s Textile Trunk Show last weekend.
Hundreds of antique textiles, vintage clothing and nostalgic items were featured by exhibitors selling, displaying or demonstrating their wares upstairs and in the basement of the Marion Community Center.
Many more garments, jewelry, purses and priceless gowns, not for sale, were also featured for the public to view, said Jeanice Thomas, one of the organizers.
“We had so many vintage fashions from people here in our community,” she said.
The oldest wedding dress, she said, was from a collection provided by Kim Ross.
“It was her great-grandmother’s dress from her Feb. 6, 1895, wedding, and included undergarments,” Thomas said.
“When Kim found out about the textile show, she also provided children’s clothing from 1905 to 1915 belonging to Blanche Baker.”
Dressing like adults
Puffy-sleeved blouses, narrow waisted skirts, lace, sashes and belts dominated women’s fashions in the early 1900s and many Marion residents contributed examples of those styles at the event.
“We have so many hats from that period and people used to dress like grownups,” Thomas said.
One type of coat that she said she had never seen before was provided by Janie Meierhoff for the show.
“It’s an autograph coat and people could write on it,” she said. “When Janie showed it to me, I was simply amazed.”
Lining the tables and grids along the walls in the basement area were WWI and WWII uniforms, mink coats, wool overcoats from the 1930s and ’40s, dainty evening purses and sweater dresses, but that was only the clothing.
Even though there were hundreds and hundreds of clothing, aprons, linens, yarns, fabrics, lace and much more for sale or for viewing only, there were also some were unknown.
One such item was labeled the “mystery textile.”
A few people thought the piece was for dirty clothes, while others thought it might be a pillowcase of sorts, but most, Thomas said, had no idea.
Although the majority of exhibitors were from Marion and Hillsboro, some came from Emporia, Wichita, McPherson, and Hutchinson, said Teresa Huffman, Marion County Economic Development executive director.
“We were fortunate to have exhibitors with so many different and unique items,” she said.
In addition to selling their textiles, some exhibitors offered hand-dyed yarn demonstrations or gave a presentation about Kansas flour sacks, but the majority said they were eager to talk with visitors about their products.
Toni Heincker of Wichita sold everything from 1921 Needlecraft magazines to reproductions of vintage paper dolls featuring Jean Harlow.
One woman who visited the show said she owns a Hollywood booth in an antique mall and purchased the Harlow paper doll for resale.
Peni Ens, owner of Odds & Ends in Hillsboro, said she brought her heritage lace products to the show.
Ens said she was excited to show visitors what they can do with personalizing wedding invitations, graduations, births or other special milestones in a person’s life.
“Personalization is just really neat and we are doing more of it,” she said.
Three women, Caroline Maag, Judy Dannenfelser and Karen Egts from TC’s What Not Shop, also got together to add their own special flavor to the textile show.
Maag said most of the items she brought for sale were linens. Dannenfelser had a lot of prop items such as coat racks and furniture with Egts bringing clothing.
Nadine Iseli, owner of Central Park Antiques Emporium, said she provided a representation of what is in her shop.
“There are textiles, aprons, a lot of furniture, lovely embroidery,” she said, “and most of these things are from auctions.”
Iseli said there is a lady in Great Bend who makes collages in the frame.
“For those with heirlooms, people can do a special collage using things from their family (to make it personal),” she said.
Red Fox Cottage Antiques was represented and Jennifer Sawyer, who helps her mother at the store, said they brought laced table cloths, handkerchiefs, bedspreads, pillow cases and seasonal items.
“Every woman, who was a lady,” Thomas said, “had a printed handkerchief.”
Sawyer also had a small selection of handkerchiefs with a states embroidered on them.
Other exhibitors included Prairie Patchworks of Emporia; Meadow Spirit Alpacas of Dwight; Kessler Kreations of Hillsboro; Two Windows Dye Co., Hutchinson; Blue Moon Arts Studio of McPherson; Gallery 101 of Marion; Marion Senior Center; Nancy Jo Lechman; Down On the Corner and those who contributed personal items.
Thomas and Huffman also wanted to thank the Marion Advancement Campaign for the use of the community center for the two days and Western Associates who lent display materials, torso, grids for hanging items and other props.
“We could not have had this show without the contributions from both of these sponsors,” Thomas said.