Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Helmsley

Furnishing Fabric
1951 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This furnishing fabric, called ‘Helmsley’, was designed by Marianne Straub for Warner & Sons Limited in 1951, and was inspired by the crystal-structure diagram for nylon. Warner & Sons Limited, founded in 1870 as a silk-weaving company, was one of the best-known producers of high quality domestic woven and printed furnishings. Straub had become the head designer at the firm in 1950, having previously designed for Helios Limited in Lancashire. ‘Helmsley’ is an example of a distinct type of pattern that emerged from the Festival of Britain in 1951, which was inspired by crystal-structure diagrams that recorded the arrangements of atoms in various substances. Here, the different circles represent atoms at separate levels within the nylon structure.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Woven cotton
Physical Description
A green ground with a pattern of circles outlined and connected by white lines in a manner resembling atomic models.
Dimensions
  • Length: 175cm (Approx)
  • Width: 115cm (Approx.)
Credit line
Given by Warner & Sons Ltd.
Production
Designed and manufactured for the Festival of Britain
Subject depicted
Association
Summary
This furnishing fabric, called ‘Helmsley’, was designed by Marianne Straub for Warner & Sons Limited in 1951, and was inspired by the crystal-structure diagram for nylon. Warner & Sons Limited, founded in 1870 as a silk-weaving company, was one of the best-known producers of high quality domestic woven and printed furnishings. Straub had become the head designer at the firm in 1950, having previously designed for Helios Limited in Lancashire. ‘Helmsley’ is an example of a distinct type of pattern that emerged from the Festival of Britain in 1951, which was inspired by crystal-structure diagrams that recorded the arrangements of atoms in various substances. Here, the different circles represent atoms at separate levels within the nylon structure.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.308-1951

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL