Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Repro Fabric Business in 1952

In 1952 Life Magazine did an article on reproduction prints, which had apparently become the fashion for decorating.

Spaghetti straps on the cover.

They showed several prints for furnishings with the implication that these were accurate reproductions of vintage fabrics. The idea at the time seems to have been to stylize the antique imagery.

The original print that inspired the Bird & Fruit above. 
Quite a few changes.

Here's an interpretation of a Portuguese print, a Chinoiserie.  Loose interpretation.

I can guess the source was something like this stripe printed for the Portuguese (export) market.

This Portuguese print from the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Ship print in a stripe, supposedly "an exact copy of ...a 19th Century French textile design."
I find this unlikely. It is interesting how the vogue for antiques became part of modernism.

Monticello from a print at Jefferson's home.

Read the article here:


  1. Ah yes, I can still see the "toile" wallpaper in my sister's room. Wish I had the fabric to match, even if it was a repro. I do have one 1950's repro and its original inspiration fabric. Hmm, maybe it is time to pass them on the the AQSG auction. Thanks for the lesson.

  2. That is a weird article title on the cover of that Life magazine...'13,000,000 books of sex and slaughter'.
    A little light reading before bed perhaps?
    That's main stream media for you.

  3. Can you photoshop Jefferson onto that sofa for us?

    The temptation experienced by commercial entities to alter vintage prints to make them "appeal to today's customers" must be irrestible.

  4. Where on earth did those ladies get those "bowls" on their heads?

  5. carol. i bet they made the hats themselves.