sample book

From the Loom to the Wall


In 1947 the Cooper Union received a sample book featuring the new wallpaper collection designed by Dorothy Liebes for United Wallpapers. The book contains eight different patterns with each shown in multiple colorways. The patterns are all based on the hand-loomed woven fabrics for which Liebes had become known. She introduced color and texture into her fabrics and incorporated unexpected materials such as rawhide, cellophane, bamboo strips and metal threads.
wallpaper, sample book, Dorothy Liebes, loom, embossed, textile, imitation

A sample book for somber attire


This sample book, dating from the late nineteenth-century, contains very fine examples of woven silks from Como, Italy. Since the sixteenth century, Como has been a center for luxurious Italian silks. Lake Como and nearby Alpine streams give the region plenty of water to support sericulture. Close to Lake Como is the Po River Valley where mulberry bushes, the food of silkworms, were widely cultivated.
sample book, silk, Italy

Shirtings by Cocheco, 1882–1888


By the late nineteenth century, the United States was producing millions of yards of roller printed cotton fabric each year. One of the most successful print works in the northeast was Cocheco Mills of Dover, New Hampshire, which produced textiles for fashion and interiors. Their fabrics were well-designed and affordable, which meant those in the lower and working classes could wear clothing made from colorful and attractive cotton prints.
sample book, shirtings, Cocheco

Alexander Girard for Herman Miller


Alexander Girard was trained as an architect and began practicing architecture and interior design in the 1920s, and became the design director for Herman Miller’s textile division in 1952. Girard also became fascinated by international folk art which he began collecting on his travels in the 1930s and managed to amass over 100,000 pieces including toys, costumes, masks, textiles, beadwork and paintings. This formal training as an architect and love of folk art designs are two streams of inspiration apparent in Girard’s work.
Girard, sample book, wallpaper, folk art, Herman Miller

A Recipe Book for Dyestuffs


In the Textiles collection is a wonderful example of a dyer’s record book for printed textiles. The book has special significance as it was the personal property of Edmund Barnes, a textile dyer and printer from northern England. Barnes was working at an unspecified print works, probably in the early 1820s, when he began recording his dye recipes.
sample book, dyes, Swatch