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The Textiles Collection: University for the Creative Arts at Farnham

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About the collection

Detachable sleeve, Indian painted chintz, mid-18th century

The rich and stimulating collection of world textiles at the University for the Creative Arts at Farnham has supported the practical study of woven and printed textiles for over forty years.

The Textiles Collection is a working collection, originally established by Ella McLeod. Its over-arching purpose has been to provide real examples that demonstrate the application of a broad range of textile techniques and processes - encouraging students to handle textiles and to respond to their qualities; to question and analyse them as a primary source. The Textiles Collection plays a central role in stimulating creative investigation and supporting students in their understanding of the factors influencing textile design and production.

Tablet braid, part of a donation by Robin and Heather Tanner

The collection consists of over 3,000 artefacts. Woven textiles range from an important collection of Coptic textiles from 800-1000 AD through to British woollen cloths, Kashmir shawls, African strip weaving and Scandinavian furnishing fabrics from 1950 to 1990.

Notable designers and hand weavers of the twentieth century are represented - Alice Hindson, Paula Trock, Rita Beales, Marianne Straub and Peter Collingwood. Muriel Rose, patron of the crafts in the 1920s and 30s, and Crafts Officer of the British Council in the 1950s, bequeathed a valuable collection of block printed textiles produced by the influential craftswomen, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher. Further examples of printed textiles include English and French engraved roller prints from 1750 to 1850 and work by significant contributors to the subject through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - William Morris, Joyce Clissold, Enid Marx, Susan Bosence and Sally Greaves-Lord.

The result is a rich and varied textiles collection of major interest to practitioners and historians, valued both as an educational resource and as a foundation for new research.

Japanese Bin Gata fabric, part of a donation by Marianne Straub A sample from a collection of Footprints Fabrics, Joyce Clissold and Germaine Tellents, 1950s Paisley printing block, 20th century

Browse the Collection

Now, in a digital form, the resource illustrates the visual and tactile subtleties of textiles in a two-dimensional environment. Each image has been carefully created to describe the particular qualities of its subject - expressing the fold and drape of a textile; communicating the fibre, structure and finish of woven cloths; and illustrating pattern, repeat and scale in printed fabrics.

The categories below contain lists of terms used in the recording of each artefact.

Select a term from one of the lists to open a new browser window with search results from the image catalogue.

Copyright and Contact Details

Every effort has been made to trace the copyright holders and gain permission for use of the images within this collection. We would be grateful for any information concerning copyright of the images and we will withdraw them immediately on copyright holder's request, if appropriate.

Detail of hand-painted bodice, East India Company, 18th century
Address: Linda Brassington
The Textiles Collection
University for the Creative Arts at Farnham
Falkner Road
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 892778
Fax: +44 (0) 1252 892927

Image credits



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