We had the big run of calico printed cottons back in the 1970’s when Cranston Print Works was churning out millions of yards a week for end uses such as apparel, quilting and even home dec. We couldn’t consume enough of them. Laura Ashley was giving us her hugely popular fabrics and bedding from England. As the 1980’s rolled around, large repeat floral chintzes from England came back into our lives in apparel and home furnishings fabric and wallpaper.
I must confess that when I was turning out traditional floral home dec fabrics , which were always part of our collection at the company for which I worked, I became insensitive to them. We bastardized the colors, finishes and value-engineered them with fewer screens so that we could sell them to middle America in color palettes and at prices that were more acceptable and less daring. In the late 1990’s I was asked to work with a small division of our company, which I didn’t know even existed and about which most executives knew nothing . The company was based in London and produced home decorating fabrics that were inspired from traditional documents. Most of the patterns were floral chintzes with ditsy coordinates and they were printed on cotton sheeting, linens and union cloths. The division was a stepchild for our U.S. based company because demand was low here in the States for such fabrics at that time. I was thrown in to sort out the division if I could, but no pressure since it didn’t constitute much of our overall volume.
Initially, I was hardpressed to find a design or colorway thereof that I liked. But, not long after reacquainting myself with the sophisticated designs and colorways, I became completely enamored with the patterns and their beautiful applications in home furnishings. Oddly enough, it was also a period of time when contemporary designs with bright colors were just starting to pick up steam in the residential furnishings market.
After seeing these, isn’t your heart just aching a bit for the refined but refreshing florals? I just had to throw in this vintage floral dress!
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