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Furnishing fabric
  • Furnishing fabric
    Marx, Enid R.D.I., born 1902 - died 1998
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Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Carlisle (made)

  • Date:

    1946 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Marx, Enid R.D.I., born 1902 - died 1998 (designer)
    Morton Sundour Fabrics Limited (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Woven cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Despite severe cutbacks in the production of consumer goods during World War II (1939-45), the concept of 'good' design continued to be of importance and was supported by the Utility Scheme introduced in Britain in 1941. The system was devised to ensure that the civilian population continued to have some access to consumer goods. Responsibility for the creative development of these products was placed in the hands of a number of chief practitioners of the day, including Enid Marx, who represented the field of textile design. Her brief was to design uncomplicated patterns that could be produced within the technical and cost restrictions imposed by wartime austerity measures. The textiles that she developed were generally of a geometric or abstract nature with small scale repeating patterns. Marx was critical of the eventual choice of rust, green, blue and natural for the designs, condemning rust as 'most deplorable and responsible for much of today's low standards of public taste'.

Physical description

Woven cotton and condensed yarn furnishing fabric.

Place of Origin

Carlisle (made)


1946 (made)


Marx, Enid R.D.I., born 1902 - died 1998 (designer)
Morton Sundour Fabrics Limited (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Woven cotton

Object history note

Historical significance: Marx's first designs for woven textiles were seating moquettes for the London Passenger Transport Board produced in 1937.

Historical context note

Marx was employed as textile consultant/designer on the Design Panel of the Utility Furniture Advisory Committee (established mid-1943). Samples such as Spot and Stripe (Circ.221F-1949), Honeycomb (Circ.215-1949), Ring (Circ.217-1949) and Chevron (Circ.203A-1949) were initially trialled by their manufacturer Morton Sundour Fabrics and, on approval from the Board of Trade Design Panel, were released to the trade generally. Some designs were executed in a dark brown which was subsequently eradicated from the final restricted and undeniably dull palette of rust, green, blue and natural.

Production Note

Attribution note: Designed for the Board of Trade Utility Design Panel
Reason For Production: Retail





Subjects depicted

Geometric patterns


Textiles; Interiors

Production Type

Mass produced


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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