ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / publications

World exhibitions and design, 1851 - 1878, as shown in publications from Leipzig
published in: CIETA-Bulletin No 75, 1998, p. 153 - 160, by Anne Wanner-JeanRichard

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  Contemporary reports:
  The Journal of Leipzig considered the designer to be the most important person in an embroidery business, and Paris to be the centre of embroidery design. It distinguished between the so called dessinateurs du premier rang and their imitators. A number of Swiss and other manufacturers paid for their local designers to go to Paris for some weeks each year, other producers bought the patterns already finished in Paris, while the designers of smaller concerns made alterations to such patterns, to suit their requirements. The Journal of Leipzig also noted that Swiss embroidery was very often sold as French embroidery and that more than half of the broderies de Paris were made by Swiss ladies from Appenzell. A reason for this can be found in the English 1851 catalogue where it says: "hand embroidery is carried on in the eastern parts of Switzerland, where manual labour is extremely cheap" (9). In 1851 the manufacturers of eastern Switzerland exhibited only hand embroidery and the illustrations and descriptions show that their products were of high quality. The Swiss were concerned that other designers might copy their motives, although, if we compare Swiss embroidery with other exhibits, it is clear that there was no particular Swiss style.   In 1862, the Brockhaus catalogue (10) laid specially emphasis on Nottingham as a major centre of British cotton white works, commenting that half the world would be supplied from Nottingham with lace, robes, curtains, scarves and so on, and that this boom in the British thread industry was due to the development of machines. The publication compared Nottingham's success to the situation in eastern Switzerland, where production had declined because in that country the manufacurers were late in importing improved machines.

A brief remark in connection with this: in Nottingham, first attempts with machine lace go back to the 18th century. Good results were obtained with the Pusher machine, which was invented in 1812 and used till 1870.

9 -
Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, of the Great Exhibition 1851, London 1851, vol. III. Switzerland, p. 1278.
10 - Dr. Wilhelm Hamm,
Illustrierter Katalog der Londoner Industrie-Ausstellung von 1862, published by F.A. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1863, vol. 2, p. 102.


Table cloth with scene by Rembrandt,
shown at world exhibition 1867

Detail from curtain, made in Nottingham,
shown at world exhibition 1862


  London Designers Reports Machines Style Later 19th c.  

content Last revised July 29, 2004