Date of this Version
Published in Textile Society of America 2014 Biennial Symposium Proceedings: New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future, Los Angeles, California, September 10–14, 2014,
Historic textiles “live” in museums and private collections, carefully stored for research and exhibition. Those in the archives of furnishing fabric companies live in a different way: reinterpreted for the consumer, either in exact reproductions or more loosely in fabrics that adapt historic motifs or are inspired by them.1 One of the largest and most important collections of historic American and European printed fabrics belongs to Kravet Inc., an American textile company to the trade based in Bethpage, New York. More than 52,000 historic textile documents belong to Kravet through its own holdings and the archives of the textile firms it has acquired: Lee Jofa (1995), Brunschwig & Fils (2011), and the United Kingdom-based firm of G.P. & J. Baker (2001).2 The archives in this “family of brands” are valued assets in a company that grew from very humble beginnings in the early twentieth century to its current status as one of the largest distributors of decorative home furnishings in the world.