Barbara Brown on The Textile Blog.


Barbara Brown 1966 - Expansion

English textile designer Barbara Brown produced these superb textiles in the 60s and 70s. We found her designs by chance on The Textile Blog, a well-written site out of England covering “the history of interiors and interior furnishings over the last three centuries.” The writer is John Hopper, a trained textile designer from Cornwall. As he has also written here, Brown is one of his favourite designers. Brown was quite a prolific designer, and it’s odd that her name isn’t better known. Perhaps it has to do in part with the lingering stigma attached to the geometric prints of the 60s and 70s, a stigma we’ve never been able to understand.

Barbara Brown for Heal Fabrics 1965 - Galleria

Barbara Brown for Heal Fabrics 1969 - Spiral

Barbara Brown 1967 - Decor

The Textile Blog is one of those small islands of historical information in a sea of blogs that simply collect good design. Collecting is great, but it’s sometimes a relief to be provided with some historical context for design traditions and innovations. Perhaps it’s because objects are so decontextualized these days that there’s a strange kind of thrill when they begin to make sense again. Or maybe we’re just textile nerds. In talking about the short-lived 1960s flirtation with bold, futuristic design, Hopper argues

Brown embraced the new optimism and confidence that swept through Britain in the 1960s… This small period in British design history was a brief moment when Britain embraced the future… The oil crisis and following economic slump put paid to Britain’s flirtation with a confident future, and with the likes of Laura Ashley leading the way, Britain started looking backwards again to a nostalgic rural past that existed largely in the imagination.

Barbara Brown for Heal Fabrics 1969 - Frequency

Hopper’s post on Annie Albers is interesting too.

2 comments on "Barbara Brown on The Textile Blog."

  1. I have a length of Sweet Corn fabric by Barbara Brown – red/pink and yellow on grey ground for sale.

    Would you be interested and if so, what would you be prepared to offer?

    C. Smith

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