Wonderful design. We do not know whether this was the only design Phyllis Barron produced for Rosebank Fabrics. It came in red, mid blue, mint green and ochre. Rosebank Fabrics were a subsidiary of Turnbull & Stockdale, Rosebank Works, Ramsbottom, Lancashire. T & S were established in 1881, and according to the V & A their hand block-printed textiles are some of the most interesting of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Phyllis Barron mentioned a visit to Rosebank works in 1929 or 30. Thirsting for more colours, and a big indigo vat - partly also as a respite from the unpleasantness of nitric. She said Indigo has been the greatest thrill of my printing life. Barron was not quite sure how to proceed so she wrote to Sir Thomas Barlow, whom I had met at the Red Rose Guild, and who was the head of the Manchester Cotton Board, and asked him he could put me in touch with any of the indigo dyers - for Manchester then supplied indigo for Africa. After a stay with Sir Thomas and Lady Barlow she was sent to the Rosebank Works, part of Turnbull and Stockdale's factory. One assumes this is how she came to produce this design for them. Apparantly when Barron explained about the difficulties of finding out about dyes and printing Mr Turnbull invited her to the printing works where she met the chemist from whom she learnt a tremendous amount about dyes'. **
I did wonder whether the Rosebank works used this fabric for their staff overalls, but Turnbull and Stockdale have no record of this. The two overalls were bought from a Manchester dealer.
hand block printed mid blue cotton, a deep neck with dropped collar, the collar edge decoratively hand finished with white cotton, short roomy sleeves, also hand finished with an elaborate looped design, pocket to the right hand side, again finished with decorative hand sewing wrap round front with belt threading through side slit, to tie at the back, inside edged with blue bias binding.
back collar to hem 3ft 6 in ; 1.16 m; under sleeves 52 in; 1.3 m.
Well washed. Stronger colour inside. There are some very slight marks to the right bust area, as you look at the piece. The pocket has some darkish orange marks and there are a few more to the lower front. The slit for the belt is ragged and there is a large hole 3 x 1 cm just above.
Damage to above the pocket. Couple of other holes. We can conserve these if you wish. Few light brown spots to the collar (rust?).
MODA (Museum of Domestic Architecture). BADDA 4253. moda.mdx.ac.uk for similar fabric also in blue.
** My thanks to Sheila Leicester.
Decoration October 1935 no 6, p 49
Designing Modern Britain, Cheryl Buckley (London 2007. Reaktion Books)
See my article on Barron & Larcher on my website site in ARTICLES.
Penlee Mueum & Art Gallery - PEZPH 1992.1336 for this design in same colour.
Price: on request
Ref N°: 7862
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