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© Lesley Jackson and Paula Day 2014

Lucienne Day, 1940s

For some years Lucienne taught alongside Robin at Beckenham School of Art, but as soon as the war was over she set out to establish herself as a freelance designer. Because of government restrictions on manufacturing during the early post-war years, her earliest designs were for printed dress fabrics, produced by firms such as Stevenson & Sons. Marks & Spencer and Horrockses were also among her early clients.

During the late 1940s Lucienne began to gravitate towards her preferred field of furnishing fabrics, which offered more creative scope as a designer. Alastair Morton, director of the forward-looking Edinburgh Weavers, gave Lucienne her first big break in this field by commissioning two screen-printed fabrics. These designs caught the eye of Anthony Heal, one of the directors at Heal & Son, who invited her to create a pattern in a similar vein for Heal’s Wholesale and Export (later known as Heal Fabrics) in 1950, the start of a long and fruitful relationship.

Studio portrait of Lucienne Day, 1940s

Photo: John Vickers

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