The perfect vintage wall hanging for my hallway — by Primm ffrench

vintage wall hangingI decorate, therefore, I am. I was at an estate sale in Stockbridge, Mass., recently and found the most wonderful vintage wall hanging for my hallway. It is perfect — absolutely perfect — against the passionate peach walls, which coordinate with the passionate peach streaks of color in the resilient tile in the hall, original to the house. And the wall hanging itself — beautifully rendered!

vintage wall hangingThe artistry in this wall hanging is a marvel, a delight. It seems basically to be a “weaving”. The long strings were tied vertically, high to low… then the vase full of flowers was woven in with chunkier yarn.

vintage-wall-hanging-4Above: The artist was Primm ffrench — that’s her woven signature, above. This house was full of all manner of wonderful treasures.

vintage vctAbove: This hall has always been an interesting space — the vintage vinyl composite tiles are just 6″ x 6″ square — an odd size.  The wall hanging is sized perfectly — that’s a lot of blank wall in a kind of tight space — and while the wall hanging is large, it’s also quite “airy” because of its peek-a-boo design. It’s like — it was designed just for this spot!

vintage-wall-hanging-11vintage-wall-hanging-10vintage-wall-hanging-9vintage-wall-hanging-8vintage-wall-hanging-6vintage-wall-hanging-5vintage-wall-hanging-1vintage-wall-hanging-3vintage-wall-hanging-1-2This is the kinda crafty artistry that we could all try our hand at. But, I bet it is wicked difficult to pull off well. Primm ffrench had it goin’ on.

Part of the story is that I almost didn’t get this. I noticed it on the wall shortly after I came in. There was no price tag, so I asked about it. The helper said if the tag was gone, that meant someone had claimed it. I was at the sale for quite a while, though… and maybe an hour later, finally checking out, the wall hanging was still there. I asked the leader of the sale what was up. He helped me go take a closer look — and sure enough, the price tag had fallen behind a piece of furniture in front of the wall hanging.


I’m so happy this lovely work found its way into my house. It gives me a zing of happiness every time I approach it.

  1. carrie says:

    I work at a thrift store, and its amazing how much embroidery, hand knitted, and crocheted items are donated. They are very dated, and you wonder about the ladies that put sooo much time and love into these projects. Its dis-heartening when they get tossed due to the age of the item. I have retrieved many items from the dumpster, and sold them on eBay. I currently am restoring a 1961 trailer home entirely with eBay proceeds. (:

  2. Jacquie Y says:

    What a precious piece of art, and your wall color is perfect showing through, it highlights the whole piece! (I thought I was the only one hooked on afghans) :o) I have wayyyy many! It is hard to pass up knowing the time and effort to do them. They are also works of art to me..also some quilts are just as special. I just love the treasure hunt..can’t help myself.

  3. Marta says:

    I think there are a few issues with vintage needlework. For wall hangings, particularly if they’ve been in a kitchen, they can get really dirty. A lot of people don’t have any idea how to go about cleaning them, or simply don’t want to bother.

    A gentle vacuuming with a clean upholstery brush is often enough to bring a piece back if it hasn’t been exposed to greasy cooking fumes. Dirtier pieces can be removed from their frames and hand washed, or taken to the dry cleaners to be cleaned and reblocked. The latter is like magic. It’s also the safest way to deal with materials that you aren’t sure are colorfast.

    With afgans, there was a big period of time where not only was it downright impossible to get attractive colors to work with, the synthetic yarns were about as comfortable as wrapping yourself up in Brillo. You can make that better by adding liquid fabric softener to the rinse cycle when you launder them. A dryer sheet isn’t enough.

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