The focus of the plethora of books on British textiles has largely been on their design and designers; relatively little has been written on the marketing of the products. Trading Textiles whilst making reference to the many avenues and methods for selling fibres and fabrics focussed on press advertising whereby manufacturers not only showed off a product, a brand, but intentionally or unintentionally provided potential buyers with an image of the company itself. Although, eventually, as with so many industries in the 20th century, companies that originally built their reputation on one line ― a particular fibre or textile or stage of production ― conglomerates came to offer comprehensive ranges. Trading Textiles compares the different styles of advertising of firms driven by design, those science based, those focussed on furnishings, and others relating to fashion.
Covering mid-20th century textile advertising the book not only illustrates what was happening in graphic design generally but the changing character of the textile industry itself.