Rummaging 101: Identifying Natural Fibers (aka: Your Fiber Cyber Study)

Last week we talked about the difference between Wicker and Rattan and it got me thinking about how I am probably really butchering the names of the fibers that actually make up different materials. For example, any basket I see is basically “rattan” to me. Or any natural fiber rug is “jute”. But that’s obviously not the case.

Today I thought it would be helpful to identify the difference in all these natural fiber materials. What’s the difference between bamboo and rattan? Or what is the difference between cane and rattan? Check out the information below:

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What is the difference between Retro, Vintage and Antique?

The other day I was listing some items in my Etsy store and something hit me like a big-ole ton of bricks.  Etsy says anything made before 1999 is considered vintage. It is weird to put this into real context, isn't it? Sure, we all know that Mid Century Modern is vintage.  We see a Lava Lamp in our parent's addict from the 70's and think "yeah, that's vintage."

But, ya'll.  Vintage is so much more recent than you think. (Hello...did you see that Caboodles are "back."  How can that be "back?" I am pretty sure I still have one tucked away in my parents house somewhere.)

So, while I do disagree with what Etsy deems as "vintage" I thought it would be helpful to define some of these terms.  Most of these definitions will depend on the source but this is how I generally define items I find.

What does Retro mean?

definition of retro 

I would call "Retro" anything that is in 20 to 30 years old.  This is where you will see some disagreement between where vintage begins and retro ends. 

What does Vintage mean?

definition of vintage 

I would call "Vintage" anything that is 30 to 100 years old.  In addition, some folks say for it to technically be considered vintage, it has to be a symbol or representation of a style of that period.  

What does Antique mean?

definition of antique

I would call "Antique" anything that is 100 years old or older. Again, I had another moment of "oh my God, it is almost 2020" when I talked about this George Washington reproduction print I found recently.  Without thinking, I would have called it "vintage" but it's pretty much on the verge of "antique."


Anyone else feel like they need a drink now or is it just me?