Not currently on display at the V&A

Insect Wings and Ovals

Sample
1946 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

British artist and sculptor Henry Moore designed this print for the textile firm Ascher Limited, founded by Zika and Lida Ascher, Czech émigrés who moved to London in 1939. Along with other British and European artists, Moore was asked by Ascher to design prints for dress fabrics in order to create more exciting textiles than those that had been available during the Second World War.

At a distance this design reads as broad horizontal bands of alternating colours, yet within each row are outlines of forms within forms, depicted with free, interwining lines and circles, connected with quick dashes and circles that appear to pin the rows together. It was available in at least five colourways; grey and dark pink, grey and orange, grey and yellow, green and purple and black and light pink.

All known samples of this design were made in rayon. Modifications to the manufacturing process in 1947 meant rayon fabrics could be mass produced, easily dyed and would retain their feel and texture longer. These technological advances made it a particularly modern fabric at the time. Produced from naturally occurring polymers, rayon was neither a natural or competely synthetic material, with the unique capacity to imitate the texture and feel of silk, cotton, linen or wool.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Screen-printed rayon
Brief Description
Furnishing fabric sample 'Insect Wings and Ovals' of screen-printed rayon, designed by Henry Spencer Moore for Ascher Ltd., London, 1946
Physical Description
Furnishing fabric sample of screen-printed rayon with drawings of insect wings and ovals, possibly cocoons, in white and orange, on a ground of alternating horizontal bands of light pink and black.
Dimensions
  • Height: 37cm
  • Width: 45cm
  • Height: 14.5in
  • Width: 18in
Credit line
Given by the manufacturer
Summary
British artist and sculptor Henry Moore designed this print for the textile firm Ascher Limited, founded by Zika and Lida Ascher, Czech émigrés who moved to London in 1939. Along with other British and European artists, Moore was asked by Ascher to design prints for dress fabrics in order to create more exciting textiles than those that had been available during the Second World War.



At a distance this design reads as broad horizontal bands of alternating colours, yet within each row are outlines of forms within forms, depicted with free, interwining lines and circles, connected with quick dashes and circles that appear to pin the rows together. It was available in at least five colourways; grey and dark pink, grey and orange, grey and yellow, green and purple and black and light pink.



All known samples of this design were made in rayon. Modifications to the manufacturing process in 1947 meant rayon fabrics could be mass produced, easily dyed and would retain their feel and texture longer. These technological advances made it a particularly modern fabric at the time. Produced from naturally occurring polymers, rayon was neither a natural or competely synthetic material, with the unique capacity to imitate the texture and feel of silk, cotton, linen or wool.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.101-1947

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record createdJune 24, 2009
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