Antique fabrics from the Victorian era were rich in color and texture
It can be difficult to visualize vibrant colors and patterns in those old images — even when we know that they were really there.
To help you rebuild that little picture in your mind’s eye, we have gathered images of more than 100 vintage fabric prints from the late Victorian era — the late 1890s and the early 1900s — although some of these antique fabrics are even older.
These vintage textiles feature florals, tiny patterns, plaids, stripes, dots, paisley styles and other beautiful classic designs, and would have been used for everything from dresses to nightshirts, and bedspreads to sofa cushions.
It won’t be hard to spot more than a few that would be just as at home on modern clothing and home decor!
The company is Bayer, known around the globe still today. (As an interesting side note, “Heroin” was a Bayer invention, and they held the trademark until World War I. It was marketed as a cough suppressant.) All of these images are courtesy of the New York Public Library.
Antique color fabrics with white thread overlays
Vertical patterned fabric with dots
Cotton printing — chrome mordant dyestuffs, slop padded, printed and discharged with oxidizing agents
Tiny multicolored floral patterns
Cotton printed fabric — alizarine red and aniline black ground, slop padded with benzidine colors
Small patterns & stripes
Mordant colors and benzidine colors on cotton fabric
Antique color fabrics with stripes, dots and mini patterns
Cotton printing on fabric — alumina mordant dyestuffs discharged with oxidizing agents or with citric acid
Bold red antique fabric samples from 1902
Various colorful vintage fabric prints and patterns from 1902