Forties Fabrics

Forties Fabrics are fun and whimsical, even though the war defined this decade. The designs are bright and bold for the women doing the sewing. The Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogs enticed women to think in color, in spite of the war that defined the era. Both the image above and below are novelty designs both patriotic and nautical in theme. The airplanes above are from the Spring 1942 Sears catalog, and the image below is from Spring and Summer 1941.


The geometric and dot designs are one of numerous themes, including florals, checks, plaids, stripes, and paisley. Below is a dot pattern from the 1949 Spring catalog.



The plaid above is from Spring 1949, and the Sears catalog image below is from the Fall Winter 1938 catalog, making highlighting that cotton is "carefree."



The above image is a pinstripe and hexagon design from Sears, 1949.

The information and images above are from "Forties Fabrics" by Joy Shih, Schiffer Publishing, 1997.