Saturday, February 18, 2017

1940s Fabric: American Fabrics magazine from 1949

Fabric design in the late 1940s showed a strong influence from fine art and artists of that era. Whether the design was created for 40s fashion or home decor, textiles were often patterned in painterly designs.

"American Fabrics" was a textile industry publication that helped the industry to follow current design trends and be well informed about the technical side of fabrics. This issue from early 1949 has examples that showcase what fabric would be popular in the late 40's and early 50's.

The ink washes and line drawings fine artwork can be seen in fabrics of the 1940s:

Eugene Berman

Greek Horses by Jean Pages

Jean De Botton

Romance by Ricardo Magni

Marcel Vertes

The textile designs above are all by fine artists of that time who were encouraged to create surface designs that would translate into home and apparel fabrics.

This project was created by Stephen Lion, a young artists rep who had a wide range of artists in his group.  He worked with and encouraged them to try textiles, a medium seen as inferior to true wall art or decor.  Eventually the designs above were produced, creating an inspiring collect for that year.

Color and textile swatches were included in issues of this magazine. Here are a few color collections that show the trends and color groupings of that time.

Colors influenced by Early American style

Color swatches, 1949

Here Comes the Bride: Celanese acetate of Stehli & Co.
Satin, taffeta, chiffon, net

Dress fabrics were available in a wide range of color, although most illustrations and photos in this publication are in black and white.  The designs show the same artist brush stroke styles, as well as other figurative motifs.  Purely abstract patterns were also available.

silk crepe and shantung by Cohama, spring 1949

top: Cotton, medallion design, second: rayon crepe, hand printed circles, 
third: creped taffeta frog motif of French origin

Actual fashions shown in this issue of "American Fabrics" can be found on my previous blog post, "1940s Fashions: American Fabrics magazine from 1949".  The trends at that time still were featuring many drapy rayons and crepes.  These fabrications would be phased out over the next few years in favor of a crisp hand and firm texture more suitable to the New Look's hourglass silhouette.

all images from: American Fabrics magazine, #9, Reporter Publications Inc., New York

Sunday, February 12, 2017

1940s Fashions: American Fabrics magazine from 1949

This post features fashions from 1949 as seen in "American Fabric" magazine. These 1940s fashions were shown to support the growing textile and fashion industry that followed World War II. Inside this issue are full page advertisements from the 40's of fashions using new textiles that were used to promote textile manufacturers.  Many of these ads were also seen in "Vogue" magazine co-sponsored by the fashion designer or label and the textile brand.

I have a good sized collection of textile magazines, and I want to start sharing them here, so as I get to photographing each, I'll post it here.  If you have any questions about an issue or photo let me know because there may be information on it that are not included in the page photo.

In this issue, following the advertising section are informative editorials exploring topics such as: Color theory, Bridal wear, Camel hair textiles, the History of American textile industry, Roses in textile design, Armour in textile design, Textile artists, and Loom weaving.  This was a very educational magazine, teaching the apparel and textile trade about all aspects of apparel fabric.

Here are most of those advertisements.  I'm starting with photos of live models wearing the latest textile trends for specific manufacturers.  I list that information at the end of this post.

40s womens suit

1940s dress

1940s swing coat

1940s swim suit

1940s sun dress

1940s dress

1940s women's suit

This next group shows fashion illustrations, where the artist has been allowed to create the ideal using individual techniques and media:

40s fashion illustration

It is interesting to see that by 1949 fashion had changed from the war year's restrictions. Garments featured quantities of yardage, natural fibers such as silk, cotton, wool and synthetic fibers such as rayon.  Convenience textiles that were treated to be wrinkle free, washable and had other features are common.  In fashion, the wearing of a longer silhouette was the norm, and that would continue from this point for the next decade.

The remainder of this magazine does showcase textile designs, these can be found in my blog post "1940s Fabric: American Fabrics magazine from 1949".

I want to comment on my cropping of these ads.  This magazine is the typical large size we associate with fashion magazines of that time: 11" x 14 1/2" and I found that trying to include the entire page usually left the type face very small and difficult to read.  I made my focus the fashions themselves.  This issue has 124 pages.  The cover is a heavy cardboard.  I'll include that in the next post on this issue.

Advertisements, in order presented:

(striped suit jacket) 100% Virgin Wool, Forstmann Woolen co, Passaic, NJ

(yellow suit) Unidure, permanent crease-resistant finish, rayon fabrics, the United Piece Dye Works, NY, LA

(gray suit by Monte-Santo)  Juilliard bankers grey worsted suiting, 100% virgin wool, “Fine fabrics are the foundation of fashion”, ADJuilliard & Co. Inc., NY  

(print two-piece dress) Foreman’s famous tubrite, Zodiac print, rayon crepe, Foreman Co, NY

(gray plaid tent shape coat) Hat by John Frederics, Hoffman California Woolens, “California Living Colors” Los Angeles

(maillot swimsuit by Cole of California) Rustler cotton taffeta, Joyce shoes, Wesley Simpson,NY

(one shoulder dress with swatch) Everfast printed cotton damask, wrinkle-resistant, stabilized, washable, soil-resistant, Vogue pattern 4949, "Everglaze products luxury at a low cost"

(brown dress) Jacqueline jacquard faille, Verney Fabrics Corp. NY.  Note: this photo includes early examples of a hairpin leg table invented by Henry P. Glass in 1941, a womb chair designed in 1946 by Eero Saarinen

(sun dress) Fiddlesticks, Totarn yarn, resists wrinkles, washable, 32 colors, American Silk Mills, NY

(Brown outfit and green bathing suit by Carolyn Schnurer) taffy moire cotton, clokay embossed cotton, washable, Ameritex- Division of Merchants and Manufacturers, Inc, NY

(light color suit) Tegra rayon, crisp, crease resistant, dry clean, Labtex Fabrics, NY

(gray dress with white collar) chambray, Picolay white cotton, Vogue pattern 423, extra-wide, Bates Fabric, Inc. NY

Illustrated Advertisements:

(gray dress by Bruno) Hockanum Woolens, MT Stevens & Sons Co., division of JP Stevens & Co, NY

(green dress by Star Maid) illustration by M Bolegard, Lorraine gabardine, Lorraine Worsteds, Lorraine Manufacturing Co., NY

(row of suits) Lankenau faille, “art in fabrics”, Lankenau Co, Inc, NY

(tweed suit) Kanmak “fabrics of thoroughbred quality”, Kanmak Textiles, Inc. NY

from: American Fabrics, #9, 1949, Reporter Publications, Inc., 24 E. 38th Street, NY


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