Lucienne Day’s colourways for Lamina carpet, Wilton Royal, 1957.
Last night Paula Day spoke about her mother Lucienne Day’s life and work at a Victoria & Albert Museum Director’s Circle event,held at Clothworkers’ Centre, the Museum’s textile archive at Blythe House, London. Curator Victoria Bradley then introduced a display of Lucienne Day fabrics, carpet samples and silk mosaics brought out of the archive. They included these wonderful carpet samples.
In the late 1950s Lucienne Day was approached by two UK carpet manufacturers, Tomkinson’s of Kidderminster and Wilton Royal of Salisbury. An arrangement was made whereby she designed patterns for Tomkinson’s, whereas she worked for Wilton Royal as a colour consultant. In this role she commissioned and coloured patterns from Wilton’s in-house designer Philip Coombes and others. However she seems to have played an active role in the collaboration and she was prominently acknowledged as the colourist in Wilton’s marketing material.
Her carpet colourways were unconventional as they embraced shades usually considered suitable only for dress fabrics. ‘I used fashion colours like blue and purple in my new carpet and fabric designs’ she observed in 1959.
After several years’ collaboration with Wilton Royal as colour consultant, in 1964 Lucienne Day personally designed four patterns for the company. Two of these, Squares and Diamonds and Octagon, are now being reissued by Wilton Carpets’ sister company Alternative Flooring. These are the first Lucienne Day carpet designs to be manufactured since the 1960s.
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