If you've ever looked through our store, either in our shop or online, you already know about our large selection of 1930's reproduction fabrics. These fabrics are among the most popular in our store, and it is not hard to see why. Whimsical designs elegantly combined with a pretty array of color makes these fabrics an absolute must have. But did you know the history of these fabrics?
During the 1930's, a quilt revival took place, a revival brought about by the hard economic times of The Great Depression. The resulting need to be thrifty, coupled with a strong need for socialization, brought women from across the country together around their quilting frames. Eleanor Roosevelt's campaign for American Arts and Crafts further helped propel quilting to the forefront of activity. One would frequently see quilt patterns appearing in local newspapers and sales catalogs. Newspapers and catalogs also advertised and delivered the necessary fabric and supplies the women needed to make their various projects.
World War I also played a role in the development of the 1930's fabric. For example, as a direct result of the war's end, pastels began to appear. Germany's surrender meant it lost all the dye patents it had previously held. Pinks, Blues, Yellows, Greens, Reds, Aqua, Peach, and Lavender made with these synthetic dye patents began appearing on cotton goods containing popular designs: flowers, geometrics, conversationals, and Art Deco motifs.
According to Quilt Historian Sharon Newman, author of the book Treasures from Yesteryear, the designs of the previous decade, the 1920's, were smaller, closer together, and overall more dense. But by the 1930's, prints had a bit more space around the designs with white grounds. Some of those trends continued in the 1940's. Fabrics saw even larger designs, more conversationals appeared, and many patriotic or military type themes became increasingly popular. And that's the story!
Just recently, we've received two collections of 1930's reproduction fabrics: Little Darlings Five and Mama's Feedsacks. If you would like order either one, just click on their names or visit our online shop and browse through our 1930's fabric department. If while you're there, and the spirit moves you, you can also browse our whole collection of these wonderful reproduction fabrics.