Inside the Design Library, a vast archive of patterns and textiles..... Eliza Williams
Where do you look for inspiration? If you’re in the fashion or home interiors industries, it might be at the Design Library, a vast archive of patterns and textiles dating from the 1750s to the present that is held across two venues, in New York’s Hudson Valley and central London. A new book by Phaidon takes readers inside its many treasures, while we have a rummage through the shelves.
One of fashion’s best-kept secrets is revealed to a wider audience this month, via a new book from Phaidon. The Design Library has been in existence since 1972, and is used by major names across fashion, high and low, from Oscar De La Renta and Calvin Klein to Nike and Target.
It’s easy to see why: the Design Library is a real treasure trove. Its US collection is vast, held across a 12,000 square foot loft in a converted fabric mill in New York’s Hudson Valley, where over 7 million examples of textiles, wallpapers, pattern books and embroideries are stored. In London, its building is more modest, situated just off Oxford Street, but its collection is still eye-popping, including samples of designs stretching back to the 18th century and from all over the world.