Designing before Computers.

Before computers took over as the primary method and tool for designers to develop and present design collections, designers would paint out designs by hand. They would work on stretched paper and paint with gouache.

When I first graduated from my degree in the mid 1990’s my job was to go into studio’s worldwide and train designers on specialist design software for the woven textile and carpet industry. It was a fascinating time for me to be going into so many studios which themselves were at a point of transition. While I would be training 3 designers at one end of the studio, another 3 would be at the other end of the room keeping orders going by painting up designs.

At Huddersfield University we are very lucky to have an archive [The Gleneden Jacquard Archive] of such hand painted designs which we as staff and students are able to handle and even photocopy.

This image is one such design which is a hand painted design and plan for a woven jacquard fabric. I bring this item here because of the technical links it has to the method I have been using to translate from quilt to painting, this archive represents a reversal of the process I am using.

Z 2864. Gleneden Jacquard Archive of Hand Painted Designs. Dated: 18.7.60. University of Huddersfield Archives.

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