belovedlinens textiles

Anna Maria Garthwaite

She was the daughter of a wealthy rector in Lincolnshire (UK). Anna Maria Garthwaite was a leading designer of the early English silk industry. She created over 1000 designs. Many of her designs in water color have survived and are in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Her work is based on botanical forms and her designs change to become closer to real nature from 1742 to a point it's often easy to recognize the flower variety. The favorites are auriculas, honeysuckle, daisies, tulips,Convolvulus tricolor, lilies and aloe leaves.

Anna Maria Garthwaite
Anna Maria Garthwaite 2

Brocaded Silk, 1748
Weaver: Thomas Brant
The Metropomitan Museum of Art


Compared to the French designs of the same period the English style is closer to nature. Flowers are smaller and less stylized than in France.

Typical design of English dress silk. A similar pattern can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago

The Albany Institute of Art shows a dress
in silk brocaded taffeta fabric witha very similar design b

A source of inspiration for Anna Maria Garthwaite could have been the nursery gardens of experimental horticulturists near Spitalfields.
Original design at V&A museum

Woven Silk

The largest collection of designs by Anna Maria Garthwaite is at V&A Museum.
Most of those drawing were found at Huddersfied in 1971 and acquired by the V&A Museum, London


Spitafields  silk 1742

Further Readings

Jenkins, David.: The Cambridge History of Western Textiles, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003
Ginsburg, Garthwaite, Anna Maria (1688–1763?)Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press 2004

Anna Maria Garthwaite WIKIPEDIA
Spitalfields Pattern Books, V&A images

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