Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Textiles as Primary Sources: Proceedings of the First Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Minneapolis Institute of Art, September 16-18, 1988


Copyright © 1988 by the author(s).



This slide presentation and brief introduction represent work-in-progress, originally undertaken for an exhibition that was to have been held at the Fashion Institute of Technology.1

The textiles in question were either designed for the textile firm of F. Schumacher & Company or imported and sold under the company's name. The slides, reproduced from a number of periodicals and company manuals, were shown in the hope that they would be recognized by the other conferees.


The company was founded by Frederick Schumacher, who came to the United States from France in 1883 to establish an office for the French textile firm Passavant & Company to sell furnishing fabrics. Prior to his moving to the United States, Frederick Schumacher had trained with several French firms including Vanoutryve an4 Passavant.

In 1889 Passavant decided to close its New York office, whereupon Frederick Schumacher bought their inventory and in August of that year opened his own firm at Broadway and 22nd Street. He continued to sell fine imported brocades, damasks, brocatelles and lampas to interior decorators and architects for use in hotels and private residences.

In 1895 the company leased a mill in Paterson, New Jersey, identified as the Waverly Mill where silk damasks, taffetas and satins were woven.

In the 1920's Schumacher began working with American and European designers, who created textiles which the company sold and promoted in its ads.

Today F. Schumacher & Company is still owned by descendants of its founder, Frederick Schumacher.