1. Kaplan; 2. Painted Desert; 3. CP 6003 printed furnishing fabric by Shirley Craven

These three bolts of fabric illustrate the innovative work in British textile designs of the late 1950s and early 1960s.


1. hand screen-printed cotton; 2. hand screen-printed cotton satin; 3. screen printed cotton twill
1. 244 × 127cm 2. 228 × 128cm 3. 100 × 125cm
Art Fund grant:
£1,000 ( Total: £5,500)
Acquired in:
Lesley Jackson

All three fabrics were printed in Lancashire. Shirley Craven trained at the Royal College of Art, and became colour and design consultant for Hull Traders in 1959. Over the next 20 years she designed 43 patterns for the company (including Kaplan), as well as commissioning designers such as Althea McNish to work for the firm. McNish, born in Trinidad, achieved a high profile as one of the first black textile designers of the post-war era. The bold, colourful prints epitomised by the work of these two women became a hallmark of the company. The nearby Lancashire firm of David Whitehead Fabrics also created innovative textiles in the 1960s, including the anonymous CP 6003 print inspired by the paintings of the Abstract Expressionists.

Artists include


Lesley Jackson. Acquired directly from the estate of a wholesale textile merchant in Newcastle.

Venue details

Harris Museum & Art Gallery Market Square, PRESTON Lancashire PR1 2PP 01772 258 248 www.harrismuseum.org.uk

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