FROM ECONOMY TO EXCLUSIVITY: A HISTORY OF THE DEVORE TEXTILE 1880 TO 1940.
This thesis creates a contextual historical analysis of the development of chemical and devore manufactured textiles, relating methods of construction and intended use to existing textile design and social histories. The initial investigation of devore practice, whether used in association with woven, knitted and stitched textiles, includes a comprehensive examination of the historical textile patent record from 1840 to 1940, which formed an extensive part of the historiography. The aim of the research was to establish a credible narrative of woven devore, through its design and its manufacture. The methodology is interdisciplinary. In the course of my research and material evaluation I have considered evidence that is normally considered to be chemical and fibre analysis, design and art history review, dress textile and interior textile analysis, social and economic history and object analysis. This study in particular focuses on the peculiar dichotomy of woven devore: that is its growth as a manufacturing method of affordable textiles for the mass market contrasted with its most common deployment, as an ornate decorative textile. This study also challenges the conventional view that the aforementioned decorative woven devore textiles were developed in response to periods of economic depression.