Textiles during the Second World War

During the Second World War there were many cutbacks including the textiles industry. Out of this came the utility scheme a system put in place in 1941 by the British government to enable the civilian population access to well designed goods. Enid Marx was responsible for the textile element of this scheme and was asked to create simple patterns and designs that could be produced within the limits of wartime austerity.

Rayon was developed during the Second World War as a cheaper and more accessible substitute for silk. Rayon began to be printed with novelty designs based on aspects of the war for scarves particularly by companies like the Calico Printers’ Association and Jacqmar. for example ‘Coupons’ and ‘London Wall Scarf’. Coupons was inspired by clothes rationing introduced in 1941 and London Wall depicts patriotic wall stickers and wartime propoganda.



British Textiles 1700 to the present – V&A



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