Perhaps it’s because I’ve been doing so much sewing at home in recent weeks (and therefore spending lots of time shopping for fabrics), but I’ve been feeling awfully textile-centric as of late. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been I’ve been spending time getting to know a textile industry periodical called American Fabrics at the Library.
American Fabrics (and its successor, American Fabrics and Fashions), together cover decades and decades of the twentieth century. This magazine was “dedicated to the belief that Fashion begins with the Fabric…that the American textile industry casts a major influence on the economic and social aspects of the world in which we live…that American textiledom has attained the world’s pinnacle from which it can never be dislodged.” While I’m uncertain about such heady braggadocio, I am sure about the wealth of design and pattern inspiration to be found within the Library’s back issues. American Fabrics holds fabric swatches, tipped-in brochures and promotional flyers for fabric companies, and informative articles about the industry. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the full color ads offer amazing and vivid details on period aesthetics. Taken together, they open a unique window into fashion, taste, and fabric in post World War II America.