Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Print fabrics gone upscale

After carrying on a lot recently about the commercial print fabrics in my stash and whether they are in any way, shape or form art-worthy, I was amused to find a display of print fabrics in a museum.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts had a special exhibit of British print fabrics from the 1970s, an extravaganza of Op Art design that whisked me back in time.

The signage explained:  "Technological and stylistic change characterized the American and European printed textile industry in the 1970s.  On the process front, manufacturing advances eliminated the guesswork of hand screen-printing and created a technical and artistic precision that had previously been unattainable....

"By the 1970s, a new generation (of designers) embraced the optical illusions of the Op Art movement.  They produced designs inspired by computers, machinery and minimalist architecture...  Stylistically, these printed textiles effused energy and movement through repetition of form, strong graphics and bright color ranges."

As a lover of selvages, I was happy to see the fabric displayed with its beautiful ID markings visible.

Heals was a high-end fabric manufacturer in the UK; Barbara Brown was their star designer.

And don't you wish you had three or four yards of this gorgeous stuff?  I could certainly think of something to make with it.


  1. Kathy-
    I love the MIA. They have a textile department, and there's always something on display. They have Jack Lenor Larsen's archives, too.

  2. Kim -- this was my first visit -- it's a great museum! I'll write more about it soon

  3. Hi, Kathleen. This is really an interesting post. But when the stuff you knew in an earlier year starts to become "history", kind of makes you step back! Hope you've recovered from the surgery--I can sympathize, been there, done it. Have a happy stitching holiday!
    best, nadia