Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 22

P963

SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES INVOLVED IN ART, COLOUR AND DESIGN IN FABRICS* By F. E. ELLIS, A.R.C.A., A.T.L
Historical

From the beginning of time necessity has caused man to be industrious in the fashioning of weapons and tools. Forms of covering, clothing and building, were invented as protection against climatic conditions and the onslaught of wild beasts. Utilitarian principles preceded the expression of artistic conceptions. Man was industrious of necessity before becomi^tg artistic by choice. There are forms of artistic expression divorced from basic human needs, such as statues, pictures, music and poetry; in these the element of utility does not occur. The element of art may therefore be isolated from the element of utility or be an accessory thereto. Objects may be devised for use; but they may also be decorative thereby creating pleasure in their use. // beauty of form is wedded to hoyiesiy of purpose the ideal is realised. Decorative design reaches its highest level if it originates in material and process, and in serving its purpose is therefore functional. No nation or society, however rudimentary, is entirely devoid of artistic urge. The simple desire for symmetry, balance and rhythm is shown in compositions of straight and curved lines and in the use of these to accent and enhance the fundamental structure of various objects. It is seen today in the tattooed form of the uncivilised savage and in the agreeable shaping of his canoes, weapons and tools. Man's next essays are attempts to draw the forms of surrounding fauna, followed by tentative impressions of the human figure and lastly local flora. This suggested evolution runs parallel with the pyschology of children in civilised communities; the child finds delight in simple primary colours and interlacement of lines. His first scrawls are animal forms and not until later does he evince interest in men and plants. The development of art, colour, and design has throughout the ages been associated with religious beliefs and the functions of everyday life. For example, in the early worship of natural elements such as the sun, moon, fire and water, forms of ritual were devised, including human sacrifice. In later periods these sacred symbolic forms were used as mere units of decorative pattern. Motifs suggested by hunting, fishing and husbandry, activities of ordinary civilian life, also occured in early phases of art. Later, the worship of sacred animals was followed by the mythological Gods and Goddesses as in Greece. These had human form and led to the Divinity of God as a spiritual conception. Art and religion have long been closely linked and their affinity is still evident.
Traditional Foundation of Modern Progress

Traditional study provides an understanding of past achievements and these act as prototypes of present developments. Manifold influences, religious, racial, architectural, climatic, military and civil have resulted in various typical pattern plans, motif treatments, structures and colourings familiar to the modern designer. This traditional basis also includes the following: discovery and use of raw materials and dyes, grass, papyrus, linen, wool, silk, cotton, hemp, jute, hair, glass, synthetic rayons and the more recent chemical compounds; the evolution of the loom from hand manipulation, through the automatic sta.^e, to the jacquard and the advent of the
* A lecture given at the Midland Hotel, Bradford, on Tuesday, 30th January, 195T, at 7 p.m.

P964

Proceedings

mechanical age with its power-driven machines. A similar evolution has taken place in printed fabrics from hand-block, stencil and screen, to mechanical roller productions. The simple honesty and geometric forms of the prehistoric; the symbolism and ritual of the ancient Egyptian and Assyrian; the capricious styling of the Orient; the aesthetic and mythological beauty of the Greek Period; the engineering skill of the Roman circular construction; the intricate interlacings of the near East leading to Romanesque and Norman round formalism; the fusion of mediaeval Gothic with the Classic in the Renaissance; and the modem use of steel construction and concrete cloaked with a veneer of synthetic materials, are all contributory influences to the gradual development of design. Tapestries were the chief type of primitive fabric in Egypt and Persia. Plain woven linen and cotton cloths were followed by patterned wool shawls of Cashmere, silk brocades and velvets of Florence and costly cloths-of-gold of Baghdad. Ancient and mediaeval fabrics, mainly brocades and damasks, showed Eastern influence due to the migratory habits of weavers. No doubt this is the reason for the similarity of early Sicilian and Lucchese fabrics. The distinctive patterning of Eastern fabrics largely influenced European textiles during the 15th and i6th centuries; Italian velvets and brocades, and the products of Florentine, Venetian and Genoese looms, were patterned renderings of the Eastern artichoke, pomegranate and pineapple. France, with Lyons as its chief centre of manufacture, provided the next stimulus during the 17th and 18 centuries with fine sett, complicated brocades. England, taking full advantage of the influx of French and Flemish weavers, produced early fabrics that were typically French in style; later productions becoming more English in design during the William and Mary and Queen Anne periods. Fabrics of the 19th century were influenced largely by the work of such designers as the Adam brothers, Alfred Stevens, William Morris, and Walter Crane. A designer is not a law unto himself. Previous experience provides the background for present activity which, coupled with his imagination, should lead to a more interesting future. He is inspired by the study of historic and modem work, and his own development and progress depend on constant observation. Originality is not an aimit is a result. To the one who knows originality will come. The Architectural and Geometric Basis The crafts of protective covering, building and clothing (architecture and textiles) are the two oldest forms of human enterprise. Both are structural and both are interdependent. The evolution of architecture, " the mother of all the a r t s " , is therefore linked with the traditional development of fabric design in regard to (a) pattern plannings, (b) the style, shape and treatment of motifs, and (c) the type of material, structure, and finish of fabric. The initial principle of building wall and roof (doorpost and lintel architecture), followed by the column, entablature and pediment of the Classic orders and the sloping roof of more northern climes; the mediaeval barrel vaulting (semi-circular) and pointed Gothic (lancet) leading finally to the domical architecture of the Renaissance (circle); together with prehistoric plaiting, and later, the weaving of warp and weft have given us three basic pattern-forming and weave-forming lines: (i) warp direction. (2) weft direction, and (3) diagonal (woven or twill) direction, and all decorative form in fabrics is built up on these three lines. (See Figures on Plates i, 2, 3 and 4).

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis The Anatomy of Pattern Design

P965

Designs based on the parallelogram are the most practical and convenient for mechanical reproduction. Printer's blocks, screens and jacquard cards are all in this form and in printing by roller the conditions remain unaltered for the roller is merely the repeat in the shape of a cylinder. Furthermore, this parallelogram is restricted in width but otherwise of arbitrary proportions. The size and scale of treatment in the design varies according to the width of the material, the construction and setting of the cloth, the method of expression and the intended purpose. In the case of woven fabrics, a square or rectangle forms the weaver's repeat, containing the geometric net, upon which the unit or units of design are distributed (see Figures on Plate 5). These combined with the odd and even methods of point paper drafting are the means of producing either directional or non-directional styles on tappet, dobby or jacquard looms. A block check is a development of plain weave; a large diagonal-figured curtain inaterial is an elaboration of the twill, whilst the sateen weaves provide the ordered distribution of detached spot styles (see Figures on Plate 6). These are followed by the more experienced use of curves and conventionalised abstract and natural forms arranged as drop, half-drop, drop-reverse, tumover, turnback, brick, all-over and continuous all-over pattems which are structurally the same. The fullest use is made of the device known as the half-drop, which originated in the printer's use of the diamond-shaped block. It provides an economical method of repetition where full width materials are used side by side as in body carpets and cretonnes, increasing the size of effect and reducing waste in fitting the material (see Figures on Plate 5).
(Principles governing Form and Types of Design

Designed form may be broadly classified as either " a b s t r a c t " or "concrete ", the former having no origin other than geometric correlation of lines and shapes, the latter being conventionalised renderings of actual or imagined objects. Decorative form may have aesthetic appeal to the senses or symbolic appeal to the understanding and should be arranged to comply with certain principles. The first of these principles is " fitness " for the intended purpose and position, the quality of the material, the type of fabric, and the method of production. Other principles are illustrated on Plate 7. Pattems are of infinite variety, distinctive in style and can be either simple or complex in character. They may be grouped in the following manner: stripe, crossover or check; diagonal, chevron, wave, scroll or meander; chequer, trellis or lattice; counterchange or inter-change; fret or key; diaper, scale, spot or sprig; border or fringe; floriate or foliate. They may also be described as interlaced, imbricated, powdered, inhabited and vermiculated (see Figures on Plate 8). Whatever the form of artistic expression or scientific and technical detail controlling production, the designer should not lose himself in the perfection of the method and obscure his vision of the ultimate purpose of the fabric: a textile which will be worn as clothing, draped as clothing or soft furnishings, hung in folds as curtaining, upholstered as furniture covering, serve as wallcovering tapestries or floor-covering carpets and rugs.
Material Value and Figure Treatments

A main principle in fabric design is the realisation that no fabric is complete in itself. This entails a wider outlook than a detached concern over one

Proceedings

effect to be produced in one cloth. It is not primarily an exhibition of skill in draughtsmanship or ingenious design, but is planned to play its part in a scheme of dress or furnishing. The idea of the design should link up with the various stages of production and fit the shape of the object. Consideration must be given to scale and size, these factors defining its minor or major r61e. The fabric may be the focal point in the scheme. The necessary sketch-design not only indicates the repeated effect, but signifies a mental conception of the resultant cloth character. The working drawing or point-paper plan is a developed map directing the cutting of the cards controlling its actual production. The true continuity must be maintained between the sketch and the cloth. It is well to note that forms composed of a sequence of narrow converging shapes will appear to merge, whilst acute angles in figures will gradually disappear as the floats become shorter toward the points. Figure contours which faithfully follow warp or weft direction can be very faulty in some tj^es of cloth, particularly where the ground area is firmer in structure than the figure area; long curved forms tend to become straight at the edges due to tension on the warp threads, or beating-up in the case of weft threads. In dress materials detached spots are disposed in all directions to avoid wastage of material in making-up, but in most woven fabrics they retain their form better if arranged at angles of 45* and are reversed to give warp direction. Further, they should be balanced but not unduly symmetrical. This avoids the danger of bars or channels (see Figures i to 6 on Plate g). Crossovers or diagonals are more suited to curtain design, enhancing the value of the folds and thus preventing the confusion which usually obtains in boldly striped materials. Reversible designs are best for most types of window drapery, the fabric being viewed from both sides (see Figures on Plate 9). Definite directional pattems are best avoided in upholstery, they interfere with the designed form of the object and either produce a lack of unity or give it the appearance of being tied up. Pile fabrics, with the exception of moquettes, are best in simple tonal masses. Gauze and lace are either dependent on light or darkness or an additional background fabric, and appear primarily as patterned silhouettes. Carpet patterning involves a knowledge of the law of perspective. When the carpet is in position, the repeats will be gradually fore-shortened, excessive detail will be lost and broken contours parallel witii the basic net will link up and produce faults (see Figures on Plate 9). Colour is an important factor in carpets and tapestries and the design should make full use of the coloured yams and so justify the expense of production. Usually the more intricate the structure of the fabric, the simpler the pattern treatment, but whatever the fabric there must be a sense of subordination as intricate weave, pattern and colour would result in chaos. Textile design consists essentially of two-dimensional, decorative treatments of reasonably flat surfaces; therefore, attempts to express three-dimensional effects or perspective are neither suitable nor fitting for the purpose. Further, as the pattem is a combination of figure and ground these should appear to be in one plane. There is greater freedom in both drawing and colour in printed fabrics and additional colours can be used without increasing weight, but the design should be printed in character. Modem thought suggests texture pattem more than carefully drawn forms, a sense of pattem being perhaps more important than the ability to draw. This does not lessen the value of good draughtsmanship, but rather puts it in its right place as aesthetic study.

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis


PLATE i

P967

THE APCHiTBCTURAL ANO OEOM^TRfC BASIS

I M 4.1 ,^|-> ^1
-/ ... u-jui

1
J

.1

1 1 1

A/KUATeo tWVND)

TRANSmOH

1
//I.W

1 >C^v,]i./l

1
T *

HI

///. i
Aw I

i i>, i l

ARCUATKD (POISrWO)

CEOMETWC SOUOS

COLUMNAfi

P968

Proceedings

PLATE

Z.

- THE OEDMETRiC BAS/S"


THS VARiOos TO THE CfRCt-B -

vT^M

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis


PLATE 3,

- THE GOMETRiC BAS/S SHOif^NG THE DEVELOPMENT FROM THE THREE LINES TV CURVED ay A SERIES OP PARALLELOGRAMS AND STEPS
ON

Mi-US.

P97O

Proceedings pure -f.


THREE UNeS AS TH BAS/S OF WOVEN PATTERNS -

^AGONAL (if/OVMN M TWILL

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis

P97I
PLAT S.

THE aeOMETRiC NET, THE UNiT UNfTS OFOESfON AN> THE REfEAT A.B>CD.

HEXAGONAL NET VNITS),

NET

/-

ocTAeoNAL Nrr
(2 UNiTS),

OVAL NET {z UNITS/,

OGtVAL Ner (2 UNtTS),

NBT (2 UNITS}.

CtRCULAR NET (2 UNITS).

CfMCULAIt NET (^ UNfTS).

THE PROP DEV/CE -

NKT'ZONITS).

tifAQAAM ON SHOWS HOU THE use OF THE O90P METHQtt OOUBLES THE SiZE OF THE EFFECT, D/AMONH k IN THE RtPSAT tNSTUb

OF ry^o 0/AMo^as AS

IN THEi>fAGRAM ABOVE.

WtOTH TWO WIOTHS

P972

Proceedings
PLATS 6*

METHODS OF DRAFTING ANO HfSTRIBUTION

ODD METHOD OF DfiAfTfNG

DIAGONAL DESIGN

SATEEN bISTRiaUTION

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etcEllis


PRINCIPLES OF DESiCN -

^973
PLATE J.

SYMMETRY

BALANCE

CONTRAST

AAOfA77ON(fAoMCBm0.

RAHlATlON(FSOMUNC).

MOtATiQNtTAh<5H7JAQ

DEVELOPMENT

OF FORM

AND

IDEA

Proceedings
PLATE fl.

TYPES OF PATTERN

CHBVRONED -

KEYED

PIAPERBP

SMBRICATmO

POWDERED

tNTCALACED

VERMtCULATEO

FOLIATED

FLOAtATBD

/NHABfTBD

SPRfOGSD
PKEOK

.IS

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis


PLATE

P975

EXAMPLES iLLUSTRATINO THB Tf^EATMENTQF SPOT-iilAPER

FIG. 3. THE ^CANGLE (UPUFTEQ) GfVINC WARP OffiECTfON. -

FIGA.

WRONG WEIGHT COMCCTLY

SPOTS

CAUSING Jk Ki^ ^ L^

eiNATlON OF FtG.5.Am FiG. r. -

- ILLUSTRATING PATTERN TREATMENT IN CURTAiN PES/ON

3
WARP5TAfP PATTERN CONFUSING WrrH THE FOLOS OF 7HEMATemAL. CF rue

1
THS. MATERIAL.OtAGOHAL PATTERN ENHANCING THE FOLDS OFTNE MATERfAU r OBJECTS APPEAR SMALLE/lIN S/ZE A S THE 01 STANCE FROM THE EYE

eve

ILLUSTRATING THE LAW OF PERSPECTIVSINRBU^TION TO CARPET^OESJON

P976

Proceedings
PLATE to.

INFLUENCES -

VAfilATIOf^S, RCPLECTBO

9.

PIQ. 10.

LIGHT AND

SHADOW-

Fl&.tX.

fIG.

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis

P977

The beautiful quality of some materials makes the use of figure inartistic and harmful. Large motifs suggested by natural or other sources possess a different anatomy in cloth and are not strictly drawn, whilst other forms are definitely suggested by weave structure and treated geometrically. Most motifs are best indicated simply as shapes to be inhabited later by weave or colour textures as distinct from complicated drawn detail having no relation to weaving. True woven design originates in the principles of weaving and hence is woven in character.
^ and Colour

As is well known the sim is the source of white light, which is composed of the colours of the spectrum. This can be demonstrated by the dispersion of a ray of white light by a glass prism; the colours thus formed provide the "normal" or "standard" red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Colour is radiant energy of various vibrations and wavelengths which are appreciated in the following ways: Physical^The absorption of radiation energy of definite wavelengths by the retina of the eye. Physiological^The interpretation of the retinal effects by the brain as colour. PsychologicalThe mental effects produced by these colour sensations (aesthetic). Light produces direct and indirect colour, the former are coloured light rays and the latter pigment reflections of those rays. Colours in light are from luminous bodies, whilst material colours are from non-luminous bodies. Variations in the quality of light produces the achromatic or tonal scale from full light (white), to the negation of light (black). Dispersed light gives the chromatic range from red to violet, but these colours placed in order of tone read from yellow to violet, yellow being the lightest colour and violet the darkest colour. It is convenient in practical colour work to group natural or material colours from yellow to violet in two scales, the red or warm scale, and the blue or cool scale, the respective hues being arranged in tonal order. Colours therefore possess both tone value (light absorption and reflection) and hue value (colour absorption and reflection).
Visible Phenomena

Objects are first appreciated as forms or shapes, then as composed of different areas of light and shade and lastly variously coloured. Material colours may be classified in order of purity as primaries, secondaries and terdaries, which can be diversely associated in tone or tone and hue to produce harmonies, contrasts and discords. Colours may possess warm or cool, light or dark, positive or negative, advancing or retiring, luminous (tone) or intense (hue) qualities which can be used to produce various psychological effects; the sunny cheerfulness of yellow, the assertive vividness of red, whilst orange combines the attributes of both, the restful freshness of green, the retiring coolness of blue and the rich bloom and royal dignity of purple and violet. The delicate intimacy of light warm pastels, the freshness and peace of light cool pastels, the power and stability of dark warm colours, the reserve and mystery of dark cool colours and the exhilaration and movement of bright warm colours, can all play their part in the construction of schemes of colour. The extended modem colour range produced by chemical research and the scientific invention of new materials has considerably increased the scope of both technical and artistic expression in fabrics.

Proceedings

Extensive Practice Colour is related to both work and leisure and knowledge of its medical and psychological value is gaining ground. It plays an important part in all forms of interior and exterior decoration. Quite apart from " taste ", schemes of colouring may be stimulating or soothing; they should be uplifting to mind and spirit. The secret of all good colour schemes is correlation on a wellplanned pattem, not bits and pieces of after-thoughts added to "brighten things u p " . As colour is light and material colour is reflected light, designed colour is really designed light and its use by artists and designers should follow careful study and analysis of nature as its original source., An occasional full or vivid note of colour may be introduced with a general background of broken tones with vibrating effect. Situations may arise calling for the general use of gay and brilliant colour to suggest grandeur and magnificence or to introduce the spirit of carnival, but it is usually found that a linking thread of harmony is present. The law of relativity of parts occurs in nature where in the multiplicity of detail harmonious ranges are formed possessing general hue qualities. A green tree is composed of infinite hue variation and the flowers and foliage of plants show gradation in tone and hue contrast. Many such analogies may be found and the artist-designer finds that his schemes of tomorrow are but a revaluation of the schemes of yesterday, The positive visualisation of a colour brings into play its negative image which affects the purity and intensity of associated colours. An understanding of complementary and successive contrast controls colour juxtaposition and is particularly necessary in colour matching and mixing. Coloured focal points naturally subjugate other colours in the complete design. A balancedcolour-sense is the foundation of colour designing. Balanced colour-sense means balanced colour vision. As each pigment reflection of coloured light rays is a valuable contribution to colour composition, there must be equal sensitivity to all colour sensations. This suggests that the continual preference for one colour or group of colours indicates the need of corrective training. Tasteful colour is the right use of colour in relation to purpose, material, position and process to be finally identified with the personality of the wearer in dress or to form a suitable background atmosphere for users of the rooms in furnishing. Good taste is the result of culture and refinement.
Practical Texture Modification

Colour is not static. It is not fixed to a fabric. It is a constantly changing sensation full of life and movement, varying in value under observation. Its quality is dependent on the type of light it reflects and in this respect varies more in dress than furnishings, due to the movements of the wearer. Furnishings colours should therefore be chosen in position, especially in colour matching. Great care must be exercised in colouring both men's and women's dress if hue value is to remain reasonably constant. Assuming the distinctive character of the three primaries, it should follow that these hues or their simple combination in mixtures or blends will produce the best results. But pigment reds, yellows and blues vary considerably in tone and hue, being stronger or weaker, and hghter or darker. Those of animal or vegetable origin are translucent; whilst mineral dyes are opaque. For pastels or shades to be effective, the basic hue should be sufficiently positive to withstand light variation.

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis

P979

Area and Proportion If contrast in woven fabrics is required the area of each hue must be fairly large; in small areas the sense of contrast will disappear. Analogy of tone and hue is easily obtained as the principle of harmony is akin to the principle of weaving. The achievement of hue contrast is still more difficult in yam construction, the areas concemed are so small that the strongest colour contrast will become a compound hue and even violent colour discords may become hamionies. In folded yams contrast of tone is more effective than contrast of hue; white and blue will retain twist character with more turns per inch than two colours. The type of twist varies in relation to material and influences the character and handle of fabrics. iEsthetically, it has a direct bearing on single, grouped or massed thread effects. The play of light on fibres and the reflection of light by the position of the fibres are influenced by the direction and angle of twist. The same type of yam used as warp and weft will have different texture value. A soft twist yam, with steep twist angle, will appear lighter in tone and have less shadow warp way than weft way, whereas a hard twist yam, apart from the fact that it is more compact, may be slightly the reverse in effect (see Figures 7 and 8 on Plate 10). Of course, it is assumed the source of light is overhead and the warp reasonably upright. CrSpe yams and the various types of fancy yams are more complicated in effect whether used as single thread effects or designed to produce a complete cloth texture. Light and Shadow The jMinciple of light and shadow not only modifies the fabric in use but considerably varies the surface texture. Self-coloured fabrics will appear as monochromatic textures, this character becoming more evident in lustrous materials. Warp is generally lighter in tone than weft, weft casting more shadow, although this is modified by reflected light frcnn adjacent yams (see Figures 9, 10 and 11 on Plate 10). A comparison between lustre and lacklustre materials reveals truer tone and hue character in the latter, which possess a more diffused light-reflecting surface. Absorbent materials such as woollen and the non-light reflecting surface of cut pile are the only fabrics in which full or saturated hue quality is possible. Light striping threads in dark grounds will appear thicker than similar dark threads in light grounds, they will also appear respectively lighter and darker in tone, therefore dark-toned lustre yams will lose their lustre if introduced into lighter-tone grounds due to irradiation of light (see Figures 12 and 13 on Plate 10). Small figures can be variously tilted to produce iridescent tone and hue stipes with interesting effect. The scale of a stripe will be increased or decreased according to the position of dark and light threads in its composition (see Figures 14 and 15 on Plate 10). Coloured lustre yams in fabrics are modified by juxta-position. Hue reflection will be present in addition to tone reflection. If single red, yellow and blue threads of filament rayon are repeated in that order, only a very small area of each colour will show. The yellow thread with red on one side and blue on the other will appear as orange, yellow and green (see Figure 16 on Plate 10). In fine sett fabrics the surface is less disturbed with consequent breadth in effect. This is similar in principle to loss of detail in an object as distance increases (see Figure 17 on Plate 10).

Proceedings Hand-Loom or Power-Loom

The hand-loom still functions for the weaving of some specialised fabrics and for experimental work in design and colour. It is not, however, suitable for general commercial production. Scientific research in engineering and the resultant greater efficiency of the power-loom, has considerably speeded up fabric production. If these modem methods do not impair the quality of the fabric or its aesthetic value^ then mass production can be the means of bringing -the enjoyment of beautifully designed fabrics into the lives of ordinary folk and giving both artistic and economic service.
The Dictates of Fashion

Fashion can be harmful to initiative and the production of good work. A sudden demand creates rush orders and often results in work of an inferior; quality. There is insufficient time for careful thought and good designings very little account being taken of fitness for purpose. The recent fashion in Scottish tartans provides a typical illustration. Although the tartan type of check originated prior to Scottish history it has become a definite part of, and is peculiarly suited to, the national costume of that country. Much ingenuity has been shown by designers and manufacturers alike in order to introduce tartan checks into as many parts of dress and furnishings as possible*, often without the saving grace of colour modification and scale of treatment. The unsuitability of this type of pattem for some materials and forms of garment is ignored. The production of standard colour ranges intended for mass use may be helpful to many and indicate future colour trends, but some will still prefer to express their individuality in exclusive work.
Conclusion

Knowledge of the goveming principles of art, colour and design in fabrics is not confined to designers. It should be the concem of all connected with the manufacture of fabrics and those responsible for their final useful form as dress or furnishing style. The artistic urge and creative ability of the designer is not possessed by everyone, but knowing is not doing and everyone can and should be familiar with the principles of good craftsmanship. Art is not to be considered as an additional elaboration or embellishment. It is the magic that turns good work into a masterpiece, the complete conception of idea and form. The main idea is "honesty of purpose" and not the use of "stunt" effects in order to increase sales, but rather to produce fabrics so aesthetically pleasing, and so well-fitted for their intended purpose, that people have to buy them. Not all buyers, however, like good designs and designers have this fact to face. Users have to be educated and high-class designs will do it in time. In conclusion, it is for us, those with whom we associate and those whom we employ to practise the foregoing principles and thereby improve the quality of our productions. Acknowledgement The author wishes to thank Dr. F. Happey, Head of the Department of Textile Industries, Technical College, Bradford, for his interest and encouragement during the preparation of this paper for publication. , DISCUSSION Mr. Spencer (President). I think we have been extremely fortunate tonight. I am not wishing to take the words out of the mouths of those who will propose a vote of thanks. You have been hearing a most absorbing talk from Mr. Ellis.

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis

P981

You, Mr. Chairman, gave me a very warm welcome. You said I had come up here at considerable inconvenience. That does not matter at all because I am very pleased to come to Bradford anyway. I am getting used to it, and the more I see it the more I like it. It is very nice to consider today, in this world of falling standards in all forms of professions, that in this Institute of ours the standard is being raised. We in this Institute are, may I put it, corpuscles of the life-blood of the textile industry, and we are dependent on each other. We have heard during the last few days from the Prime Minister of the move of events which are of grave importance. But I do want to stress one point, namely, as Mr. Attlee said in his speech, that we of the textile industry must improve on our exports if we can, to fill the gaps which have been left vacant from the obvious withdrawal of exports of capital goods to the world. We have another task in front of us, and that is to fill the gaps left by America and Canada in their production and in their needs. In fact we are doing it today. We have to fill those gaps and I am sure we will do it in the same spirit that Marshall Aid was given to us. And a very generous spirit it was, too. It seems to me that the textile industry, of all industries, is one which depends on individuality. Our whole prosperity, which plays an enormous part in the economic structure of the country, has been built on individuality. And that has never been proved more than in the lecture tonight. We have in front of us a very grim time, but above all else, what is to count in what is to be a fight for freedom is the individuality of ourselves as a nation, and in that connection, and bearing in mind what we are up against, I would like to quote some words of John Stuart Mill which I think we ought to keep in front of us in the future: A People, it appears, may he progressive for a certain length 0/ time and then stop. When does it stop? When it ceases to possess individuality. Mr. Dumville. It sometimes happens that the opener of a discussion takes the opportunity to deliver a second address. I am sure you have no need to fear that that is going to happen tonight. I hope that the proposer of the vote of thanks will excuse me if I just say how pleased I am to hear my old friend Mr. Ellis give a lecture. I think there is enough in it for about seven special lectures. There is one point which has come into my mind. I understand that this is the first lecture that he has given to any textile society in this town or in any other town, and I want to ask the Textile Institute and the Bradford Textile Society what they have been doing to allow a lecturer of his ability to remain dn the College without being called upon to lecture as he has done tonight. I would like to submit two questions: (i) Does figure design in textiles still occupy the prominence it used to do? (2) Will Mr. Ellis explain more fully the meaning of (a) discord, and (b) successive contrast in colour, with particular relation to yam and fabrics? Mr, Ellis, (i) It depends on the interpretation of figure design. I consider figure design to embrace the whole texture of the fabric. There is no cloth made that does not contain figure. The mere passing of one thread over another causes a figure. Two threads interlacing with two threads produce another type of figure. But I know what Mr. Dumville means. There will always be a place for figure design, as it is generally understood, but not on such a large scale as in the past. Printed fabrics have taken a good deal of

P982

Proceedings

the limelight from woven figure designing. One of the reasons why woven figured styles will remain is because it is the one way of obtaining really good quality of colour in fabrics. It is not possible on a fabric to produce the inherent quality of colour that can be produced in a fabric. Figure designing firms are busier than ever, with years of orders to carry out. (2) (fl) Discord is a very variable quantity. Perhaps I can explain it this way: it is possible for two people to play simultaneously the same tune in different times, it is also possible for them to play two differejit tunes in the same time, and, different tunes in different times. These are all forms of discord in sound. Similar effects can obtain in colour sensations. What colour is in discord with neutral grey? Here is a colour circle containing colours that are reflections of light. Yellow is the lightest colour in the circle, therefore if any one of the other colours is made lighter in tone than yellow it will be a discord with yellow. On the other hand, red has a certain tone. If yellow is made deeper in tone than red it will be in discord with red. Red has a tone value equal to neutral grey in the achromatic scale, so if red is made lighter or darker in tone than neutral grey a discord will result. A colour discord in dress will result if a blue-fawn hat is associated with a red-brown coat, because normal blue is darker in tone than normal red. Therefore, the hat should be a warm fawn and the coat a cool brown, unless the basic hue of both is the same. (b) With regard to successive or progressive contrast: assume you have to assess the colour value of a range of red samples of cloth, which unknown to you are all cut from the same piece. In going through the range the red will appear to become brighter and brighter and you might decide that they are not all dyed to the same depth. I suggest the following as a corrective measure: place the complementaries red and green-blue in front of you and keep looking at them as you proceed along the line of samples. In this way your colour vision will remain balanced and you will be able to assess the quality of the reds perfectly. To give a further example of successive contrast: suppose you have a piece of white paper containing a red spot and another piece of paper entirely red. If you look fixedly at the red spot for a time and then look at the piece of red paper, a brighter red spot will appear. To illustrate mixed contrasts, close one eye and look at red for a time, then close the other eye and look at yellow; then look with both eyes and a mixed combination of the two negative images will appear, one related to red which is green-blue and the other related to yellow which is dark-blue. Question. Do you agree, with relation to the woven and printed fabrics, that the main advantage which the woven fabric has over the printed is the texture? And do you agree that the texture should be used to full advantage in woven figured fabrics where it would be used in the printed equivalent? Mr. Ellis. I agree that if the idea is to design for a printed fabric, then the surface texture of the cloth has to be taken into consideration. And if the colours are to be printed on to a fabric, then the colour of the fabric should be echoed in the colours which are printed on that fabric and the whole effect united. Consider a woven fabric: that is largely done for the designer and is quite outside his arranging. Thus, if a yellow warp and blue weft are woven with an ordinary 50 per cent, warp and weft weave, the coarser the sett the larger the individual areas of yellow and blue; as the sett becomes finer the yellow and blue will merge and appear green, harmony will therefore result. Colour in fabrics is not the same as colour on fabrics, it is part of the whole structure.

Some Basic Principles Involved in Art, etc.Ellis

P983

If a striped warp is used, then as I tried to explain, dependent on the type of material used, the finer the sett the more the contrast between the colours will disappear. Yam of a sufficiently coarse count is required to produce areas large enough for the tone or hue of the individual threads to be clearly defined. Question. You referred to a design of a carpet which had a background of flower garden and a duckpond in the middle with trees, and said that that was a poor design, but it would sell. The matter of good design is very controversial. You referred to educating the consumer. I would like to know how you would proceed with this education, I am producing furnishing fabrics for upholstery and furniture, and am often asked to put on a design which we consider totally unsuitable. But it will sell. Designs on which the experts are satisfied very often do not have a ready sale. How would you educate for the appreciation of good design? Mr. Ellis. First, it must be decided who creates the demand, the customer or the manufacturer. I would suggest it is largely the designer and the manufacturer as most customers do not really know what they want unless it is provided. Does not selling capacity depend on a psychological study of the market, to meet the demand or, as in most cases, create the demand and then give value for money? The customer is educated to appreciate good design in two ways: (i) by aesthetic training in various schools, and (2) by being made familiar with the best examples of design. Good design is not truly controversial, it recognises principles, isfittedfor its purpose and functions perfectly when in use. Obviously a carpet, which is designed to appear as a pictorial representation of a garden in perspective, cannot suggest the architectural firmness that should characterise a floor covering. But I know it will sell. It is not a question of taste. Taste is choosing the right well-designed carpet for a particular scheme or position. However, if a standard of good design is not known and understood, how is it possible to know what comprises a bad design. Mr, Kendal (proposing vote of thanks). It is with very great pleasure that I rise tonight to propose a vote of thanks. We have had a really classical lecture. In the discussion also we have food for thought. On your behalf I propose that our best thanks be given to Mr. Ellis for this wonderful lecture he has given us tonight. Mr. Kendall also expressed the gratitude of the meeting for the attendance of the President of the Institute, Mr. G. H. Spencer, J.P.

ERRATA Proceedings, 1951, Vol. 42, No. 10. " An Identification Scheme for Textile Finishing Agents on the Fibre " Giles and Waters. P913, last line, "hydroxy-" should read "hydroxyl-" ^^^ i; 27, "(S.C.)" should read " C w / v P915, line ^M 'VQ r V* Qhnnld read "(w/v)V .