Not currently on display at the V&A

Papacha

Dress Fabric
1964 (designed and made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This chunky tufted mohair sample comes from the archive of Zika Ascher, an innovative textile manufacturer who based himself in London after the annexation of Czechoslovakia. His wife designed textiles and their company became incorporated in 1942. Ascher developed a range of fabrics for use at the top end of the market. He kept used samples such as this to show prospective clients his wares, and as a record of his output.

This is an example of the collaboration between textile manufacturer and fashion designer. Ascher developed a close working relationship with a number of the French and British couturiers active in the 1950s and 1960s, in particular the Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga who was based in Paris. The colours were among those that dominated Balenciaga's work throughout his career. The bulkiness of the textile dictated that the garment had to be simple in cut.

Balenciaga's dramatic use of a different colourway of this fabric in a coat appeared on the front cover of French Vogue in November 1964. It was black, red and white, accessorised with a black bowler hat with a gold conch shell on the front (symbol of Saint James the Major, patron saint of Spain and of pilgrims).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Hand-tufted mohair
Brief Description
Dress textile sample 'Papacha' of chunky hand-tufted mohair, made by Zika Ascher, England, 1964
Physical Description
Dress textile sample of chunky hand-tufted mohair in black, red and white. The base textile is an open plain weave, made up with bouclé mohair yarn (the warp in light green and the weft in fawn). The tufts are large and at first sight single colour, but they are, in fact, made up of two to three different colours of mohair yarns: the green tuft comprises and light and mid green yarns; the black tuft comprises black, deep pink and deep blue; the bright pink tuft comprises deep and mid pink; and the pale tuft comprises pale pink and white.
Dimensions
  • Maximum width: 45cm
  • Maximum length: 28cm
  • Tuft, maximum width: 4cm
  • Tuft, maximum length: 8cm
The hairiness of the mohair makes the taking of precise dimensions virtually impossible.
Styles
Production typeLimited edition
Gallery Label
FANTASTICAL FABRICS Ascher textiles devised this hand-tufted mohair known as Papacha in conjunction with Balenciaga. Featured on the front cover of French Vogue, Balenciaga’s three-quarter length coat is a simple T-shape with no collar or cuffs. It completely hides the wearer’s figure and foregrounds the fabric itself. The multi-coloured tufts, knotted by hand into the mohair ground fabric, are made up of two or three different colours of mohair yarns(10/05/2017)
Credit line
Given by Zika Ascher
Production
The Spanish couturier Cristobal Balenciaga (based in Paris) worked with Zika Ascher to create this fabric.



Attribution note: Ascher made textiles for the upper end of the market, so this textile was probably not widely available. Reason For Production: Retail
Summary
This chunky tufted mohair sample comes from the archive of Zika Ascher, an innovative textile manufacturer who based himself in London after the annexation of Czechoslovakia. His wife designed textiles and their company became incorporated in 1942. Ascher developed a range of fabrics for use at the top end of the market. He kept used samples such as this to show prospective clients his wares, and as a record of his output.



This is an example of the collaboration between textile manufacturer and fashion designer. Ascher developed a close working relationship with a number of the French and British couturiers active in the 1950s and 1960s, in particular the Spanish designer Cristobal Balenciaga who was based in Paris. The colours were among those that dominated Balenciaga's work throughout his career. The bulkiness of the textile dictated that the garment had to be simple in cut.



Balenciaga's dramatic use of a different colourway of this fabric in a coat appeared on the front cover of French Vogue in November 1964. It was black, red and white, accessorised with a black bowler hat with a gold conch shell on the front (symbol of Saint James the Major, patron saint of Spain and of pilgrims).
Collection
Accession Number
T.219-1988

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record createdAugust 17, 2006
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