Alec Walker's Cryséde Company


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Three other shops, as well as some agencies followed a first shop in Newlyn’s New Road. The Cryséde shops and department stores, such as D H Evans, offered ready made, made to order garments and silk lengths.  A free pattern was offered for the purchaser of the silk lengths, to make her own dress or employ the services of a dressmaker. The shops also sold ready made and made to order garments, sewn by local women.

Women were not necessarily able to get to shops which sold products they wished to buy, so mail order was very popular at this period. By the end of 1923 there were 3,000 mail-order clients with customers in Paris, America and Australia. Fabric swatches and pieces with a complete pattern repeat were sent to client’s wishing to order a length of silk. Ready to wear dresses, made by local women were sent on a five day sale or return basis. A silk evening dress in 1930 was 5 guineas (£5.50p).

At this period manufacturers of silk garments promoted their products as just silk.  Walker advertised Vigil Silk as a brand.  The label guaranteed the silk would be colourfast and would withstand repeated washing. The firm stated that the durability of their heavy washing silk was ideal for everyday wear, morning and evening gowns and sportswear such as tennis dresses.  In 1921 Edward McKnight Kauffer was commissioned to produce another poster for Walker.

In the 1932 catalogue block printed linen and cotton cambric were recommended for furnishings for the first time, as well as non-fade tussor silk and printed and plain shantung.

Sample cards sent to clientszoom in

Sample cards sent to clients

Edward McKnight Kauffer poster 1921zoom in

Edward McKnight Kauffer poster 1921

Cornish Farm linen 1925zoom in

Cornish Farm linen 1925