A Decade of Extremes – Fabrics of the 1940s

A Decade of Extremes – Fabrics of the 1940s

By shopping at The Vintage Pattern Shop you can own a piece of the past with a vintage dress, a vintage blouse, or even a vintage apron.  These beautiful items have been passed down to us in a form or state that means they will never wear out or get old.  We have these items in pattern format, meaning that they can be created to the exact measurements and specifications that the designer originally intended, again and again.  Beautifully crafted and designed patterns such as the ones we admire so much from history need never be forgotten or lost.

Another way to honour the fashion of the past, is to admire and recreate it in all its many forms.  For this purpose, The Vintage Pattern Shop encourages you to look at the vintage designer fabrics we have available from all the different eras and styles popular in each fashion decade.  With the geometric designs popular in the 70’s, the beautiful art deco of the 20’s, the psychedelic patterns of the 60’s, and the floral and fun patterns popular in the 30’s there is a lot to choose from and we stock a wide range of vintage fabrics online for purchase.

However, if there is one time period in fashion that stands out when it comes to fabrics, in my opinion, it is the 1940s.  When you look at the pretty dress patterns and shapes popular in the 40’s, it is obvious that designers also had the pretty fabrics of the times in mind when they created their garments.

1940s vintage fabrics include a wide range of designs, colours and styles, as this was a decade that experienced going from one extreme to another.  During the first half of the 1940s the world was overshadowed by a time of war that demanded cutbacks and rations in favour of necessity and living as simply as possible.  This included using simple patterns and fabrics that were easy to clean and sturdy enough to mend, remake into something else, and make do with for extended periods of time.  The second part of the 1940s saw a boom in the choices of fabrics and the amount of fabrics available for patterns as well as extra finishing’s and embellishments such as the frills, bows and motifs that only years before would have been considered an extravagance that could not be tolerated.

The 1940s vintage dress patterns available at The Vintage Pattern Shop display the contrast that existed between war times at the beginning of the decade, to the liberated fashion world of the late 40s. With extremely rare but beautifully simple Vogue designer patterns such as wedding gowns for the war time bride, to the Vogue designer patterns of the late 40s, such as a wonderfully layered evening gown created in 1948, you will find some fantastic pieces worth creating in the original patterned fabric materials of the era.

For a look at our selection of vintage fabrics available from the 1940s as well as from other decades, check out our Vintage Printed Fabrics Showcase page.

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