Following the William Liddell exhibition in Lisburn October 2018 Trish Belford was approached by William Clark and Sons Ltd to produce a printed textile design collection. This collection of fabrics are inspired by the Damask designs from The William Liddell archive recently revived by a National Heritage Lottery grant.
1600 fragile photographic glass plates were donated to The Ulster University by Ewart Liddell, the designs beautifully depicted many designs from the successful years of Northern Irish damask weaving designed and manufactured from the small village of Donacloney, Co Down, Northern Ireland. William Liddell and Company was formed in 1866, at a time when Northern Ireland was the largest linen producer in the world. Driven by industrialization William Liddell and Co were especially prosperous with their ideal position on the River lagan providing export routes to the rest of the world. By the beginning of the 20th century the company had offices all over the world; London, Melbourne, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Christchurch, New York and Capetown. Famous for producing fine Damask linen designs, the company was awarded contracts for luxurious liners including the Titanic and leading stores such as Harrods, House of Fraser and Bloomingdales in the U.S. The designs illustrated on the photographic plates span a time between 1900’s – 1970’s.
Working collaboratively with Duncan Neil the design director at William Clark a new fresh collection of prints have been created, ranging from stylish digital prints, traditional hand screen printing and keeping in line with the original Damask connection two beautiful fine Damask woven fabrics have been introduced to the Donacloney range, respecting tradition while firmly placing itself in a contemporary interior setting.