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Reproduction fabrics of 1750-1950

Dargate Vintage Fabrics Sample Book

antique fabric sample book
The Dargate Book

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