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Furnishing fabric - Barbed Wire

Barbed Wire

  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1947 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moore, Henry Spencer, born 1898 - died 1986 (designer)
    Ascher Ltd (designed for)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Screen-printed rayon

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the manufacturer

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Henry Moore produced three sketchbooks of textile designs in 1943. Thirty of Moore's designs were converted into printed rayon lengths by the textile manufacturer Zika Ascher. The wide appeal of Moore's designs can be illustrated by the appearance of the 'Barbed Wire' design, used to great effect in the gritty British film noir 'They Made Me a Fugitive' (1947). Made at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, the plot centres on the realities of civilian life faced by an ex-RAF flyer, Clem Morgan, played by Trevor Howard, and Morgan's descent into the dark underbelly of London's criminal world. In one scene, leading lady Sally Grey appears dressed in a casual robe made of this fabric, designed by wardrobe mistress Dorothy Sinclair; a striking if perhaps none too subtle visual reference to Grey's physical and emotional situation.

For the public, aspirations of glamour were firmly linked with the stars of cinema, and fashions, make up and hairstyles portrayed on screen were avidly copied. Home dressmaking was an economic way of acquiring fashionable clothing and the home-made jacket also constructed from 'Barbed Wire' fabric in the V&A's collection (T.405-1990) illustrates how the maker may have emulated a glamorous screen idol.

Physical description

Furnishing fabric of screen-printed rayon. With an abstract design of barbed wire and parachutes.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1947 (made)


Moore, Henry Spencer, born 1898 - died 1986 (designer)
Ascher Ltd (designed for)

Materials and Techniques

Screen-printed rayon


Length: 63.5 cm, Width: 46 cm, Length: 24 in, Width: 18 in

Descriptive line

Furnishing fabric 'Barbed Wire' of screen-printed rayon, designed by Henry Spencer Moore for Ascher Ltd., London, 1947

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail




Printing; Screen printed

Subjects depicted

Wire; Parachutes


Textiles; Interiors

Production Type

Mass produced


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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