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Textile Pattern Books

Pattern books were created as part of the working mechanisms of the textile trade and industry: as design and production records, for inventory control, to facilitate sales, and for the purpose of design intelligence. This research explores the visual conventions of pattern books that enable reading them within their contextual framework, and reveal their intended sense. Ultimately the research aims not only to enhance the legibility of pattern books, but to allow their content to be explored in relationship to surviving textiles and clothing, adding to our understanding of the cultural meanings of textiles.

Recent Outputs

"Fustians in English menswear: from cloth to emblem" in: Costume: the journal of the Costume Society, Vol.43 (2009), pp.1-18.

"Identifying Printed Textiles in Dress 1740-1890" Internet publication (2009):

"A Textile Dynasty: Arthur H. Lee & Sons, Birkenhead" Exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery, December 2008-March 2009.

"Wardle Pattern Books Revealed Project" at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Catalogue entries, book summaries, and six essays (2008):

The Secret Life of Textiles: Six Pattern Book Archives in North West England, (2005) Bolton Museums, Art Gallery and Aquarium.

Crewel embroidery on cotton canvas, late 1940s

Collaborating Institutions

Bolton Museums and Art Gallery

DATS (Dress and Textile Specialists Group)

Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall

G.P. & J. Baker Archives

Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester

Willamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead