Follow the Thread

a textile & costume history blog from the Design Center at Thomas Jefferson University

The David and Dash Collection of Printed Textiles

10.18.2023

by Ann Wilson

From ’60s mod geometrics and trippy abstracts to lively florals and quirky conversationals–our David and Dash collection of printed fabrics has it all! Fans of mid-century modern will revel in these designs from David and Dash, a textile firm that began in the 1950s and had its heyday in the ’60s and ’70s.

The company had its origins in the Philadelphia area. Specializing in handprinted residential and interior fabrics, they started out working largely with Atlantic City hotels. Sometime around 1960, the headquarters moved to Miami, where South Beach resorts and hotels were the heart of their client base.

This treasure trove of nearly 400 designs is a rich source of reference and inspiration for textile print designers. Each design is accompanied by a detailed label that includes the design name, style number, color, width, fiber content, and the size of the repeat.


Explore the David and Dash collection by visiting the Textile & Costume Collection on JSTOR.

Colorways

A major value of the collection is the large number of designs with multiple colorways. The colorway examples below show how a change in palette can transform the look and feel of a design.

Design name: #4305 “Masquerade”

Design name: “Rip Tide”

Design name: #4282 “Gloriana”

Put a bird on it

Birds are a common motif among the conversational prints. The designs below vary greatly in style, and each is made more lively and interesting by the addition of some feathered creatures.

T&CC 1994.22.117c, “Coventry”

Why not put ALL the creatures in the design? How many animals can you find in this print?

T&CC 1994.22.306b, “Managerie”

Florals

The floral is the print designer’s bread and butter. David and Dash explores the entire range of what a floral can be–from modern and groovy, to painterly and traditional.


David and Dash on JSTOR

The David and Dash prints are among our most popular objects, and we’re thrilled to have them available online to inspire new generations of print designers. From traditional to modern, there’s something for every mood board! Explore the entire collection by visiting JSTOR.

T&CC 1994.22.137, “Agate”

Special Collections Technician, Textile & Costume Collection, Thomas Jefferson University

Images of objects in our collection are copyrighted by Thomas Jefferson University. For inquiries regarding permissions and use fees, please contact: thedesigncenter@jefferson.edu.