Florence Broadhurst, peacock wallpaper, office

What would Florence Broadhurst think of this new fabric collection? That’s a really good question!

Her thought process was clearly different and that’s not surprising because it is wisely said, “nothing new comes out of ordinary.” Florence was anything but ordinary!

Whilst I had dealings with her as a young fabric salesman supplying her with textiles in Sydney, I had no idea how huge an icon she would become.

It was my unknowing ‘brush with fame’.

Ahead Of Her Time

One of the insights as to what she might think now, is told on the inside of one of the preciously held original wallpaper books we have fortunately acquired, shown below.

Original Florence Broadhurst wallpaper book
Original Florence Broadhurst wallpaper book

In this book is a notice where she offered her designs on a variety of base substrates; fabrics of different textures and fibres, roller blinds and wallpapers. All of these options were further variable by custom colour and textural effect.

Harpers Bazaar
Harpers Bazaar, 1960’s featuring Florence Broadhurst designs
Florence Broadhurst at work
Original Florence Broadhurst wallpaper book, Powerhouse Museum
Original Florence Broadhurst wallpaper book, Powerhouse Museum

These options we are only now able to achieve with huge, expensive and complicated machinery.

Florence took the humble cedar wood frames, silk screen and printing paste to new heights. She experimented with the chemistry to create luxurious, durable and amazing effects on both textiles and paper.

She was truly before her time on such offerings.

Printing Technology Today

In respect of Florence, we have been able to preserve the handcrafted-ness of the classic print methods whilst using cutting edge digital technology.

Our first foray into digital printing, through parent company Materialised, was in the late 1990’s. We were amazed at this new technology, despite being able to deliver fabric slower than hand screen printing. In the relatively short time since then, our capacity has increased a thousand fold, arguably the most modern plant in this part of the world.

High speed digital printer

So, What Would Florence Think?

I think she would applaud what we have done in using modern methods to uncompromisingly capture and preserve her huge, 500-design legacy.

It’s over 40 years since her untimely death, but her genius lives on.

Great design transcends time!

Palm print, drapery, Florence Broadhurst fabrics
Original Florence Broadhurst Palm design as drapery, adapted and printed by us!

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