ONCE, COTTON WAS KING IN MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, peaking in 1913 with 82% of the world’s cotton fabric production. Companies marked each bolt for shipping with exuberant labels and decorative lettering, heavy on ethnic stereotypes and color, color, color.
These fabric labels have to be some of the most vibrant branding ever, reminiscent of American fruit crate labels of the 1930s and ’40s, but virtually unknown to collectors.
Now the world’s leading (only?) expert and chief collector of this undiscovered material is about to do a little NYC show ‘n’ tell. On Thursday evening, January 28th, photographer Adrian Wilson will give a presentation at the Type Directors Club in Manhattan, with original artwork, lots of gorgeous labels from his collection of 4,000, even the original pearwood and copper printing blocks used to make them. (Save for one appearance on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, it’s the first time this stuff has ever been out in public.)
Thursday, January 28, 6-8PM
347 West 36th Street, Suite 303
Tickets are $20, students, $15, TDC members free. To reserve, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212/633-8943 during office hours.
For a 6-page PDF with more history, pictures, and background on the collection, go here.
To see the invite to the January 28th event, click here.
All images copyright Adrian Wilson