In 1997, we acquired a truly amazing, early nineteenth Century
fabric sample book. It contains 330 pages and approximately 1,750 vintage
fabric samples, which are glued onto hand made rag paper with paste made
from horses' hooves or fish glue (a process used at the time because that is
all they had, but is now known as an effective conservation technique). The
pages are bound in a ledger type book (10" x 16"). The book and its
samples have been identified as c. 1830 French dressgoods by both a professor
of costume and an independent textile historian.
Our first reaction to this book was "WOW!" ....and we still feel
that way every time we open the cover.
Although the original purpose of the book is not known, there are
three likely possibilities. It may have been used as a printing mill pattern
book, a sample storage book by a subscriber to a swatch service (yes those existed
back then), or a reference book for ideas by someone in the fabric industry.
Glue marks, left behind on some pages where swatches have been removed, suggest
that this was a working book.
The following are pictures taken of the Dargate Book solely for
your viewing pleasure :-)
If you have any questions or comments regarding the Dargate Book please email Margo Krager
More pictures from the Dargate book: