Pattern to Print
14 September 2013 – 16 March 2014
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.
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.