Not currently on display at the V&A

History of Shapes

Furnishing Fabric
1954 (designed)
Place of origin

Red and mustard screen printed jacquard weave textile hanging or Ardil (ground nut fibre).

Object details

Object type
TitleHistory of Shapes (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Screen printed jacquard weave Ardil.
Brief description
Furnishing fabric, 'History of Shapes', of Ardil (groundnut fibre), designed by Tibor Reich, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1954
Physical description
Red and mustard screen printed jacquard weave textile hanging or Ardil (ground nut fibre).
  • Length: 171cm
  • Width: 124.5cm
Object history
Ardil was developed by the British company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in the 1930s. Ardil is a protein fibre made from ground nuts, most commonly, peanuts. The peanuts are crushed and through several processes the protein is extracted, washed and dried to obtain a powder. The powder is dissolved in caustic soda and extruded through a spinneret into a coagulation bath. The reulting fibres are put through a series of processes and eventually cut into staple fibres ready to be spun into yarn.
Bibliographic references
  • Untraceable Find. Newspaper Clippings, Tibor Ltd. Archive; Balding & Mansell, Wisbech: London, UK, 1954 'A tour de force woven on the Jacquard loom in Ardil, spun silk and a metallic thread which was then screen-printed with a narrative pattern. The fabric is interesting not only because of this unusual combination of processes, but because it represents the designer's first major experiment with the Jacquard. That he did not weave the motifs instead of printing them is due chiefly to the great extra cost involved that could not be justified on a short run. The tapestry, called the 'History of Shapes', was commissioned by the ICI and shown on the company's stand at B I F last year. Four shields on the tapestry sketch the history of Britain from primitive times to the present day.'
  • Auerbach George H, Stenton M, Kapsali V, Blackburn RS, Houghton JA. Referencing Historical Practices and Emergent Technologies in the Future Development of Sustainable Textiles: A Case Study Exploring “Ardil”, a UK-Based Regenerated Protein Fibre. Sustainability. 2022; 14(14):8414.
Accession number

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest feedback

Record createdFebruary 1, 2011
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest