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Dress fabric - A Game of Tennis

A Game of Tennis

  • Object:

    Dress fabric

  • Place of origin:

    New York (City) (made)

  • Date:

    1927 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Wills, Helen (designer)
    Stehli Silks Corporation (textile manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Printed silk crepe de chine

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Stehli Silks Corporation

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The pattern on this printed silk dress fabric is called ‘A Game of Tennis’. The designer, Helen Wills Moody, was a famous American tennis player and also an amateur artist.

This pattern was part of the Americana range of dress fabrics which the Stehli Silks Corporation commissioned from several artists in 1927. The fabrics were designed specifically to depict contemporary American life and to make a change from ubiquitous floral dresses.

In 1926 the highly influential International Exhibition of Decorative and Modern Industrial Arts toured the USA. Originally staged in Paris in 1925, this was the exhibition that showcased the new Art Deco style. It had an enormous impact on American designers and encouraged them to work in the modern style, as shown in this fabric.

Physical description

A print of women tennis players in lavender and pink on a white ground. The women wear 1920s tennis dresses and bandeaux. The style of illustration is influenced by modernist movements like Futurism, as several versions of the figure at slightly different stages of serving the ball are superimposed on eachother.

Place of Origin

New York (City) (made)


1927 (made)


Wills, Helen (designer)
Stehli Silks Corporation (textile manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Printed silk crepe de chine


Length: 12.25 in, Width: 11.5 in

Object history note

Registered File number 1929/8683.

Descriptive line

Printed silk crêpe-de-chine with tennis theme; USA; ca. 1927.


Silk (textile); Silk crêpe



Subjects depicted

Women; Tennis


Fashion; Textiles; Gender and Sexuality; LGBTQ


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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