Indian Influence in 1960’s Fabric Design

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In the late 1960’s and early 70’s there was a great fascination for Eastern cultures. The Beatles especially were very interested in Indian music and were influential in spreading the word widely. Music, art and fabric designed for clothing and interiors all showed this trend.

It was a fashionable, especially with the hippy movement to wear kaftans, paisley designs and batik printed clothing from India.  The style was reflect in much of the fashion of the time.

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Zandra Rhodes 1969 circle dress now in the V&A museum, in an Indian influenced print.

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 Mick Jagger in 1967 wearing a paisley print jacket.

 

Indian fabrics were also widely used in interiors, for bed spreads and curtains.

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The curtains above in a fabric called ‘indian summer’ designed by Jyoti Bhomik for Heals in 1966. Jyoti Bhomik a young designer born in India worked exclusively for Heal’s during the 1960’s,  his fabric is still sought after today.

 

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British designers of the era such as Collier Campbell also showed their interest in eastern culture in fabric designs such as ‘Zebak’ and ‘kasbah’.

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Barkcloth, Birds and Cherry Trees

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A sunny April morning in our Gloucestershire orchard. The bird cherry is full of blossom and the birds are singing, you can pick out a chiff chaff amongst others in the video below.

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The fabric on the washing line is mid century barkcloth cotton, the two on the right are Heal’s ‘cherry orchard’ ( appropriately) by Irmgard Krebs and blue ‘counters’ by Richard Jarvis.

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Where has the time gone? It is mid June now and the cherries are on the trees, the grass has grown lots and I have sold most of the fabric on the washing line.

I really should post more often but life has been so busy.

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Grautex. Mid-Century Danish Textiles

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Grautex fabrics were a leading textile company  in the 1950’s through to the 1970’s. They were based in Copenhagen, Denmark and used many well known artists and designers of the time such as  Joan Nicola Wood,  Kirtsen Romer and Ronald Hansen who produced art prints such as pine trees ( below) and beech trees panels.

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Ronald Hansen –  pine trees

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Arne Emil Jacobsen, meadow. 1951

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‘Hyacinth Glasses’ Printed Cotton Panel Designed
by Arne Jacobsen for Grautex Fabrics  1950

 

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‘continental flower squares’ 1951

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Joan Nicola Wood ‘carnival’

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Kirsten Romer ‘skrapper’

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Toile de Jouy Fabric

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Toile prints were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. The name Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century and means “cloth from Jouy”, a town near Paris.

Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf set up business in Jouy-en-Josas outside Paris in 1759, where he joined with engraver and designer Jean Baptiste Huet to design idyllic pastoral scenes for their fabrics.

The designs on toile de jouy vary greatly, but they all have detailed scenes scattered over the fabric. Originally the scenes were carved on woodblocks or engraved on copper then printed in only one colour (often red, black, or blue) on to a white or cream background.

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Les Traveaux de la Manufacture (The Activities of the Factory), 1783–84, designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet

 

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Toile fabrics are a fascinating record of the times both past and present, often depicted historical events, such as the pattern above c. 1784 based on two etching made shorly after the Montgolfier brothers successful ascent in hydrogen-filled hot air balloons

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Detail from a more modern toile fabric  by Ashley Wilde.

 

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Even more recently, Mike Diamond from the Beastie Boys designed Brooklyn Toile (above) as a wallpaper. Together with designer Vincent J. Ficarra he created a toile depicting his favorite Brooklyn scenes.

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 Toile has come to be used for interiors, both wallpaper and soft furnishings in this vibrant room.

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Here Toile de Jouy is being used for clothing  in this 1950’s style Bernie Dexter dress.

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Artist Textiles.

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The early 20th century saw the rise of artists having their designs  printed on fabric to be used in the house or as pieces of clothing. This meant that their art was accessible to the masses rather than being owned by galleries or the very rich. After the war a movement called ‘a masterpiece in every home’ became popular and saw many great artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and John Piper having their designs printed and used widely.

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Rare vintage 1920’s cotton fabric by french textile artist Raoul Dufy who was one of the first to have his designs printed on cotton fabric. This piece was originally used as a pair of curtains.

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This wonderful Picasso print cotton fabric made into 1950’s style dress. By the 1960’s  Picasso was allowing many of his art work to be printed on to dress fabric, he apparently wouldn’t allow his work to be used for sofas or chairs “Picasso may be leaned against, not sat on” the curator of the 2014 exhibition of textile art  was quoted as saying.

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The piece above printed on soft rayon material, originally curtains is now being made into a skirt.

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Northern Cathedral – a 1960’s work  by John Piper screen printed on  cotton fabric.

 

 

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David Whitehead & Sons Fabrics

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The Lancashire textile company David Whitehead & Sons originally set up in 1815, came to prominence in the 1950’s having exhibited at the Festival of Britain in 1951. The company produced some wonderful fabric during the 1950’s by artists and designers such as John Piper, Marian Mahler, Jaqueline Groag, Terence Conran and Henry Moore. Many can be found in the V&A collection.

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‘solstice’ by Cliff Holden

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abstract painterly design in barkcloth cotton

Eye catching and popular these fabrics were the height of mid 20th Century fashion and used extensively in interior design. Interestingly the company also provided specialist fabric for the Scott’s 1957 polar expedition.

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“Eduardo” by Terence Conran design dated 1952

 

Like so many textile firms in Britain the company almost died out, but in 1996 Bernard Laverty bought the company name and now he and his wife Jill Worrall are bringing the company back to life producing the same fabulous 1950’s designs in Lancashire mills once again, just six to begin with, but hopefully more in the future.

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When Jill bought a length of David Whitehead fabric from me for her ever growing fabric achive, it was so exciting to hear her story of the relaunching of these iconic fabric designs. Check out their website and facebook page below to find out more.

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David Whitehead facebook page

More information about Vintage Fabric can be found by following these links

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Bernard Wardle Fabric Design

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The company Bernard Wardle started in the 1930’s and  by the late 40’s were producing a wonderful variety of designs in cotton chintz and hand & roller printed linen for interiors from their base in Stockport, Cheshire.

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Above picture shows the bee logo on the selvedge of a piece of 1930’s /40’s linen.

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‘french garden’ an early design from the 1930’s or 40’s on cotton.

After 1950 Bernard Wardle  introduced colourfast dyes which enabled them to use vibrant colours in new popular patterns.

By the 1960’s the company Bernard Wardle had became well known for producing high quality fabric and printing for Heals and using designers such as Robert Dodd, Colleen Farr, Elizabeth Tuff, Janet Taylor and Natalie Gibson. Edward Pond was design director from 1962-65 introducing a series great designs.

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‘cathedrals’ by Edward Pond

 

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‘guinevere’ 1960’s abstract floral design.

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Edward Pond’s ‘malaga’ produced in a variety of colours .

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‘vanessa’ by Hilary Rosenthal 1966

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‘barbican’ by Robert Dodd

The Wardle Pattern Books were presented to the Whitworth Art Gallery in 1962.

Everflex was an offshoot of the main Bernard Wardle company becoming famous for making fabric for car interiors and soft tops. Rolls Royce, Bentley and Jaguar being some well known customers. The main branch of Everflex opened in 1948 in Caernarfon, Wales and closed in 1980.

Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.

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