The linear geometric style of early twentieth-century painting and decorative arts appears in weavings such as this rare survival of a French upholstery fabric. A paper label attached to the piece dates the design to June 1934; the label also indicates that the velour was woven as an essai, a sample made prior to possible production. The dynamic pattern of the velour, suggestive of an abstract cityscape, is achieved by stepped, irregular fields, some of solid colors and others of mottled hues, juxtaposed in a sophisticated design. The cloth was produced in northern France among the weaving centers of Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing. Textile firms in this area of France were known for manufacturing fabrics used on airplanes, trains and boats. In the 1930s, designs such as this velour would have contributed a sense of modernity and luxury to these increasingly popular modes of transportation.
Published in the Cora Ginsburg 2002 catalogue.