Textiles from the 50s and 60s Re-issued


Guest Blog post from Jill Worrall. In 1815 three brothers, David, Peter & Thomas Whitehead formed a textile company in the Rossendale Valley.  The Company has a long and fascinating past with many twists and turns. These include everything from Luddite attacks to supplying denim to the 1957 Polar Expedition. IMG_1168 The 1950's saw the Company taking a radical and transformative turn.  During the Second World War raw materials were in short supply. There were restrictions on the use of colour in furnishing fabrics and the labour force was drastically reduced.  This made for rather drab interiors in most homes. However, when the austerity of the war was over a brave new world emerged in the field of interior design. Untitled 2 There was rapid progress in fabric printing techniques.  Previously the block printing process was very costly and restrictive to innovative design.   Screen printing came along and reduced printing costs. DSC0215 David Whitehead & Sons led the way. Firstly, they invested heavily in modern machinery. And secondly, a Director of Furnishing Fabrics was appointed – John Murray.  John Murray was radical and had great foresight. He had a revolutionary idea – to buy designs from young up and coming designers and artists whilst still keeping the Whitehead design studio. New and exciting designs began to emerge. DSC0283-600x350 The new fabrics were designed by artists, the first being Sir Terence Conran. Closely followed by Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groag and many others who sold their designs to Whiteheads. In honour of the studio's history David Whitehead & Sons is re-launching a small collection of Sir Terence Conran's early work for the Company. Future plans may include further designs from the 1950's and a selection of 1960's designs which we believe will make fabulous wall hangings, framed pictures and stretched canvas. Untitled

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