I went to the Fashion and Textiles museum the other day and they have a few interesting things to see which I found really worthwhile to include an exhibition called 'Creating a printed textile with Sanderson'. Sanderson was founded in 1860 as an importer of french wallpapers and imitation leather papers from Japan. Soon the company began to design papers and additionally supply paints and fabrics to decorating companies. Sanderson understood the potential of sample books and you can look through their 50s collection at the exhibition. They also have a wonderful archive which the designers can look into for inspiration at any time and in turn produce beautiful textiles. They bought the rights for William Morris wallpaper; with a similar theory to Morris that by using the past to inspire the future something beautiful in the home can be created and improve your quality of life. There is currently a design studio in Chelsea and orders such as bed linen, wallpaper and other home accessories can be sent all over the world within 48 hours of an order being placed. Russia and China are particularly enjoying British design. The company works with partners who understand the cultural and language differences. It's wonderfully 'all about exporting' and the primary methods are used to created these printed products to include roller printing and screen printing. You can see an example of a roller at the exhibition.
The designers at Sanderson need to be very skilled at painting. I learned a little bit about the structure of their designing process. Firstly a theme is developed and inspiring images are collected, for example post cards, magazine cuttings or paintings. Then rough versions of the design motifs are sketched and collaged on the computer into a repeat layout. Any areas that aren't working are corrected and lastly the design is sent to the print mill. Each colour used is engraved on a separate screen.
Here are some of my favourite designs that I found in the 50s sample book, all available in different colourways: