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Vintage Labels for British Textile Week


Vintage Labels Print Archive is a collection of vintage print designs dating from the 1920s to the 1970s. The collection is collated for clients both internationally and here in the UK and selected to appeal to a wide range of design houses. The archive is added to on a weekly basis, so there is always something new to discover. The digital archive is only part of a much larger womenswear vintage collection housed in North London, and which can be viewed in person by appointment.

Vintage Labels

Nicky Albrechtsen, owner of Vintage Labels reflects here on how she adapted and developed her business during lockdown, and on how vintage design inspires the fashion of tomorrow:

“As lockdown was instigated and London (and indeed the rest of world) stopped, I immediately invested in a scanner and spent the time scanning high definition images of all my archive prints that date from the 1970s back to last century. 

This enabled me to reach clients in the UK who were working remotely and all my international clients who I would usually meet at trade shows such as Premiere Vision, or during their rare visits to London. Clients receive several different quality resolutions immediately on ordering their selection, so that they can choose the best quality to work with depending on the quality of the fabric and their own needs. I then post the original fabrics.

Other than a few customs hiccups initially, it has worked brilliantly, and I wasn’t quite prepared for international demand to exceed that of the U.K. It is something that has now become a fixture of the studio and is a useful, growing catalogue (currently at 2000 designs) of all the archive fabric swatches. Design teams are able to highlight the kind of designs they are looking for on the website, and if what they want is not on there, I can search through the rails of garments for further possibilities.

Archive designs are relevant as strong starting points for designers, they seldom use an old textile design in its original format but will manipulate and recolour the design to suit their current theme. I find that it is often the brands who are not so trend-driven that enjoy using archives, perhaps because they find it easier to put the brands own ‘stamp’ on  a design that is relevant to current fashion but needs revising.”


UKFT’s British Textile Week is a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, imagination and innovation of the UK textile industry.