1940s Printed Fabrics

The beginning of the 1940’s was a difficult time for the art of printed fabrics. The 1930’s had seen a flourish of new printed fabrics, thanks to the new technology of the day. However, due to the restrictions of war time, machinery for screen printing were not being used as much as they had been in the previous decade. Those that had one time worked the printing machinery were sent to war, and those left behind were put to use working at home to support the war effort. Also, certain fabrics and dyes were not so easy to come by, and the world employed a ‘make do and mend’ attitude which meant that a lot of the garments and printed fabrics from previous years were still being worn during the early part of the 1940’s.

However, as mentioned before on this website, fashion is an excellent way for us to express ourselves, and we all feel the desire to represent who we are and where we are in the stream of time using creativity and fashion choices. This need to express ourselves in our creativity continued to drive people to find new printing designs and new clothing to wear.
Especially after the war time, when restrictions were lifted, 1940s fabric prints saw bigger and bolder patterns. As abstract art became popular, it encouraged clothing designers to use a variety of new shapes and patterns in order to create a new look and style of 1940s printed fabrics.

Our selection of 1940s vintage fabrics included paisley prints. The use of objects such as feathers and musical instruments, and even pictures of people and hands, can be seen on some of the printed fabrics, 1940s designers employed.

Choose some fabrics on The Vintage Pattern Shop along with a 1940s vintage pattern to really capture the look of the 1940s.