This is a large French sample book dating to 1913-1914. There are notations with the names of various manufacturers alternating throughout the book. The fabrics range in size from 2" x 4" to the large full page (see the first photo.)
Antique fabric sample collection.
Many years ago I purchased a collection of fabric samples that someone had saved in this antique book (below). The book pages are blank, perhaps it was meant to be a journal. The fabrics have been glued to heavy cards and inserted between the pages. Unfortunately, there is no writing on the cards or pages.
The fabrics date from the early 1800's to about 1860. Many of the fabrics are Delaines (cotton and wool), the others are cottons. Most of the dyes are still bright and unfaded. The fabrics appear to have been in the book many years as some of the pages have a reverse impression of the printed fabric which has been pressed against it for probably a century or more.
Following are some of the fabrics in the book.
Antique Turkey Red fabrics
What could be more interesting to a quilt collector? I came across these wonderful Turkey Red fabric samples and was thrilled to be able to add them to my collection of samples. The pages are labeled:
F Steiner & Co
I notice that most of the print motifs are larger than we usually see in the mid 19th century Turkey Red prints.
Also the designs are looser and not as compact.
The fabric itself is dress weight cotton, not heavier like home furnishing fabric would be.
The samples are large, the rectangular pieces are about 3" wide by 9" long, and the square sample are about 9". The photos are taken with my Nikon using a flash.
Continuing with fabric samples, here are some black and grey printed fabric samples, notice they call them "Silver Greys".
These are fabric samples from William Simpson & Sons, offered by the Eddystone Manufacturing Co. Philadelphia, PA. 1888.
"Silver Greys and Black and White prints."
Original paperwork description is tanned with age and brittle to the point of chipping off, but the fabrics seem fine.
Freeman Manufacturing Company, 1889.
Indigo Blue print fabric samples.
"Windsor Gold Ticket Indigo Blue."
"PERFECT IN EVERY RESPECT".
From the Freeman Manufacturing Co. North Adams, Mass.
Indigo prints with some bright accents in yellow, orange and red. Top photo taken without a flash, but the bottom photo with the flash is closer to the color.
It isn't often that a fabric has a history of it's own.
Made by Springs Mills this fabric features the Springmaid Girls.
The Springmaid Girls were used in advertisements and date back to 1946 when the president Elliot White Springs launched a new advertising campaign to bring a little humor and interest to their advertising.
There are a lot of books out there about the history of large textile manufacturers, including the Springs Mills, all great for researching textiles. But for a more personal view I enjoyed and can recommend this book.
Clothes Make the Man, by Elliot White Springs.
It's a history of the Springs Mills Co. of South Carolina. Written by the president of the company, he gives his personal view of the running of this large company. Dating back to 1888, Springs was at one time SC largest industrial employer. There's lots more information about this giant textile company easily found on the internet if one is interested in researching it.
The Springmaid Girls used in the company ads were used for this fabric design. The girls are shown in various poses, some a little more daring than others at the time, but pretty tame by today's standards. I've seen the fabric in this colorway only. There was another similar design with the Springmaid Girls, but the fabric is printed without the blue strips.
I've also seen another ad for fabrics with the Springmaid Girls in "Persian" designs. I've never found any of these fabrics, unfortunately.
The ad to the right features actress Vivian Blaine in a dress made from the Persian design fabric.
More information on the Springmaid Girl ads can also be found by searching the internet.
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