[Photo my own]
Christmas came early this week. I discovered that older back issues of Selvedge (meaning 0 - 13) are now available for iPad enjoyment. Pouring over issue 6, with its blossom focus, I paused to read Beth Smith's piece about Bennison founder, Gilly Newberry, and the fabric house's collection of bird, bee, and floral prints. Throughout the 2000s, bird motifs were so popular. And as this tour of The Met's collection demonstrates, birds are a perennial favorite in art history. But in the 1980s, it seems bird print fabric went out when the pink boom boxes came in.
[Detail, Songbird cerise on beige via Bennison]
Smith writes that Newberry loves old document fabrics just as they are: "When recreating them as Bennison fabrics, few alterations are made to the original." Although a minor change in scale or new coloway may get the green light, the draughtsman's lines are left alone. That said, when birds fell out of favor in the 80s, Bennison omitted a peacock motif from the reproduction of a spectacular archived print. As big as they've been of late, apparently birds were most in vogue (on chintz) in the early 19th century.
[Image via Tindalls]
One more fun tidbit from Selvedge, issue 30: Newberry uses lawyers' India Pink tape on her packages and presents.
Also of interest: The Karun Collection and On the Borderline Again.