Hampshire Museums

Passion for Pattern

Flower Power

Flowers and leaves are never out of fashion. They suggest youth, freshness, beauty and fragility.They can be delicate or bold, colourful or pale and can be adapted to any design. Flowers can be represented either as they appear in nature or in a non-realistic, stylised form. Flowers can be arranged in many ways

  • Singly or in posies and bouquets – the list is endless.
  • Randomly scattered flowers are a popular pattern for fabrics. They can give a rich and sumptuous feel and disguise the pattern repeat so that the design does not appear to have any edges.

The rose is one of the most popular flowers to be used in textile design. Whether in bud or open flower, they have been used throughout history and suggest romance and beauty.

The rose’s delicate petals and leaves and the variety of colours from pastel pinks to rich red, make them a versatile flower for a range of patterns. Although wealthier gentlemen in the 18th century wore richly decorated clothes, for the last two centuries most male clothing has been relatively sober and floral designs have been limited to shirts, ties and waistcoats. Today floral designs are aimed mostly at the female clothing market.

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    Coat dress c1970
    Bright green coloured synthetic fabric printed with white Mary Quant-inspired daisy motif. Label:Marks and Spencer.
    Accession number C1989.85/1

     

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    Strapless ball dress 1950s
    White synthetic fabric printed with large pink roses
    Accession number C2000.20

     

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    Flapper dress c1926
    Silk embroidered with beads, baubles and sequins with a stylised flower design
    Accession number C1998.94

     

 
Psychedelic flower pattern