Pattern to Print

Hall Place and Gardens

14 September 2013 – 16 March 2014

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £7)

National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to over 240 venues across the UK as well as 50% off major exhibitions.

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Exploring the Bexley area's silk industry heritage, from the 1800s to the present day.

The region's involvement in the textile industry can be traced back to the founding of the fabric print works in Crayford in 1826, where inventor Augustus Applegath perfected the use of curved copper plates rather than traditional handblocks.

Becoming known as David Evans & Co Ltd in 1843, the plant went onto produce silks for the likes of Liberty's, Elizabeth Emmanuel, Holland and Holland, David Allen and Sir Elton John before its closure in 2001.

The exhibition charts the evolution of the plant's techniques, from handblock to copper plate, to advanced screen-­printing, as well as exploring how silk is extracted and processed with artefacts from a silk farm. 

There are also examples from contemporary designers who have drawn on the David Evans archive for inspiration, one being J W Anderson who has used the company's print for two collections he produced in collaboration with Topshop.

Don't miss

Original equipment from the factory, including silk fabrics, printing and dying equipment will be presented alongside loans from fashion collectors, organisations and a typically eye-catching outfit from Sir Elton John himself.

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5pm

For visitor centre, garden and glasshouse opening times, check the website

Closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)