1950s Vintage Patterns by Marnie Fogg, published by Batsford

Vintage patterns 1950s is a compact book full of designs.
This is not a wordy tome, but is a useful resource for anyone wanting to learn a little about the influences of  the textile industry of the 1950s. An exciting time, as the country was coming out of the drab utilitarian years of the second world, war and a new analytical approach to design was emerging.


page 36 – Simon Alderson, TwentyTwentyOne
Page 37 – Allan Hutchings Photography

The 1950s saw an end to the restrictions on colour in printed textiles (five colours and only small repeats allowed by the ‘Utility’ rationing programme of  1942)
Intrinsic to 1950s print design was the deployment of abstraction by textile designers, who referenced the artistic movement of the day. Abstract art was creatively organized shapes, forms and colours that had no counterparts in nature. Pages 116-117jp

As well as abstract shapes the fifties also saw conversational prints that depicted a real creature or object, motifs from rock and roll, hearts and messages. These were particularly popular amongst the newly emerging teenage girls, eager to differentiate her clothes from her mothers.  Image

page 80-81 – Allan Hutchings Photography

Printing provided a mechanical means of reproducing the marks, drips and accidental patterns made by artists such as Jackson Pollock and William de Kooning. The other kind of pattern depicted in this book is the domestic that  bore witness to the expanding power of the female consumer. Image

page 116 – Allan Hutchings Photography.Page 117 – Centre for Advanced Textiles, The Glasgow School of Art


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