ivory-towel attitude

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I admit, I am fond of haberdashery, DYI and papeterie. These were my favorite shops when I was a kid. In the 70s bricolage was all the rage and these were the shops I would visit together with mum or dad. Looking for the right tools to scrap paint from a wall, or for a new elastic textile-rubber waist band for the pajamas.

At that time you would repair things. So as a kid and teenager I helped in all sort of manual work in the house, except electric stuff and car maintenance where my job was limited to “hold this and don’t move”. This does not mean I was good at it or that I enjoyed all chores. I loved knitting but I hated embroidering. I loved gardening and I hated sand-papering wood planks.

It seems now that the only thing people need to “repair” is the skin (from our stressful lives, from the sun…). You buy buy buy and never do maintenance to objects or simply repair them.

Living in a flat is not so conducive to manual work (where do you store all the tools?) but there are some things that help us in focusing on MAKING things rather than buying them. The obvious one is cooking. Another one could be recycling.

So my latest recycling has something to do with haberdashery. When you merge two “homes” – MeinMann’s and mine, 10 years ago – you suffer from an overflow of stuff. Kilometers of excess white fluffy towels were stored away in boxes with cedar wood. So when it came to buying the stock of towels for The Flat in Berlin I resisted the temptation to grab the towels at IKEA, which was the easiest option, and rather trans-shipped our pristine excess inventory from Rome, courtesy of easyjet. More space in the wardrobe in Rome!

In order to make things easier when there will be friends staying at The Flat in Berlin and in order to have some fun, I popped down to one of the last haberdasheries of our Quartiere in Rome and bought the fantastic fettuccia. Yes, like fettuccine. It’s bias banding, a colored textile tape. Washing-machine safe.

Like glasses in a party, each couple of towels has been color-coded. It’s a fresher look, it costs 1,90 eur and it is practical, especially if you don’t like color towels, you have one bathroom to share and you don’t want it to look like a souk.

But the nice feeling is, you buy the tape by the 10cm, not by the meter or in a plastic conditioning. It’s fantastic to be able to buy as much stuff as you need, not an inch more. And to have your tapes wrapped in a tiny piece of paper. I love this feeling.

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