If you didn’t have the chance to go on one of our Archive Collection Visits at Braintree Textile Fair, then here is your chance to see what you missed. Our theme this year was ‘All the Nine’s’ and focused on some key designs with our Collection produced from 1899 – 1969. Read on to find out more.
From 1899 we have the exquisite ‘Bexley’. A handwoven Art Nouveau silk damask in a rich emerald green, designed by Mackmurdo. It was exhibited at the V&A during the 1970’s and the design was later sold to Christies in 1972.
In 1919 power looms were introduced to Warner & Sons. The company introduced power looms somewhat later that other competitors because their focus had been on producing hand woven designs. ‘Atherstone’ was power woven in 1921 and is a crimson silk & cotton damask, designed by C Ebel depicting a vase of stylized flowers surrounded by scrolls & bands with birds, fruit & flowers.
Dartford Print works opened in 1927 and ran until 1939 when it was requisitioned for World War II. During its time of operation many popular designs were created using block, screen and roller printing. Among these were ‘Cranwell’, a block printed rayon inspired by a French design which was produced in a number of colourways.
‘Rylstone’ was one of the final screen printed designs produced before the Printworks was requisitioned. Designed by Artis, it was printed on linen and had the utility symbol stamped on reverse. The design has recently been redesigned and is now available through Claremont Furnishing Fabrics as part of the Archive’s Fabric Collection, it has been renamed to ‘Kim’.
In 1949 Warner & Sons welcomed a visit of H.M Queen Elizabeth, as part of her visit she came to see ‘Porchester’ being woven. ‘Porchester’ is a silk/cotton damask woven for the Royal Palace Windsor.
Marianne Straub was one of Warner & Sons most influential designers, producing over 1,000 designs (many of them samples) on the dobby looms between 1950 – 70. Her trial samples and notes books now form an important collection within the Warner Textile Archive. Many of her designs were produced under contract to wholesalers such as Liberty’s and furniture manufacturers such as Parker Knoll. ‘Wincanton’, is one of Straub’s most striking designs, a cotton & worsted power woven tapestry.
In 1969 the World celebrated as Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the Moon. Warner & sons celebrated this with the release of a special design. ‘Space Walk’, is a screen-printed cotton, designed by Sue Thatcher. Although it was not a top seller it was exhibited in several exhibitions around the World.
Braintree Textile Fair will return in May 2020. Don’t miss out on this fantastic one-day event and a chance to learn even more about our fantastic Collection.