Our company history dates back to 1807 when our cotton printing plant was established by Rhode Island governor, William Sprague. We are proud of our heritage and our place in the American Textile Industry! Antiquities was born from our passion for embracing our rich traditions and sharing the beauty of our printed textiles throughout different decades. As part of our library here, we have dozens and dozens of swatch books containing our cotton print samples as a record created by and used for the plant.
To me, these are priceless pieces of history. As a textile designer, it makes my heart sing when I look through these books. Imagine seeing the original swatch of fabric with the production details inscribed … important information such as lot number, number of cylinders (colors), machine number and supervisor, most often hand written and organized together for future generations to experience. I love it!!!!
Our premiere collection is named Canterbury (In shops now!) It’s an assemblage of designs gathered and styled to showcase the beauty of these archival prints. Our studio design director starts the process by making selections from the antique production books. The studio then scans them into the computer. As you will see, the designer’s artistic talents come into play when recreating the design and bringing it back to life as fabric for today’s market. It is a textile designer’s dream to work with these fabrics but it does come with some challenges. Some of the swatches measure only two to four inches. While that isn’t a problem for the tiny prints, large feature florals or damasks can be difficult to recreate. The integrity of the original design is the main focus of our studio.
Once the designs are complete, the studio works carefully to color the collection. They make it cohesive and balance the range of lights to darks for the best quilting friendly assortment. Beautiful colors of navy, creams, golds and maroon come together and evoke the traditional flair while staying current in style. These prints are reflecting what is currently seen in apparel in places like Anthropologie . Here’s another example from Anthropologie. *swoon*
I hope you enjoyed this small look into the process of developing our Antiquities collections. The next line, Ashford, is coming soon (April 2016) and offers another set of archival treasures. We will show you the original swatch and how they translated to fabric! Antiquities collections are an eclectic blend of fabrics, inspired by the past. Embracing tradition, while remaining relevant with magnificent color and design, Antiquities is sure to be a staple in your stash.
Looking forward, we will talk more about our history and give you some more behind-the-scenes views of Quilting Treasures!