Thomas Stevens in 1888
|Died||24 October 1888 59–60) (aged|
|Resting place||Coventry cemetery|
|Known for||Inventing the Stevengraph|
Thomas Stevens (1828–1888) was a 19th-century weaver from Coventry, famous for his invention of the stevengraph, a woven silk picture.
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England.
Stevengraphs are pictures woven from silk, originally created by Thomas Stevens in the 19th century. They were popular collectable items again during the revival of interest in Victoriana in the 1960s and 1970s.
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity (sericulture). The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors.
In the 19th century the town of Coventry, England, was the centre of a ribbon weaving industry. Thomas Stevens was born in Foleshill, just to the north of Coventry, in 1828 to a relatively poor family.Stevens worked for Pears and Franklin, a local ribbon weavers in Coventry, and by 1854 had created his own ribbon firm. In 1860, however, the Cobden–Chevalier Treaty was signed; this free trade treaty introduced new competition into the industry, leading to a collapse in the local ribbon economy and a huge loss of employment in Coventry.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
A ribbon or riband is a thin band of material, typically cloth but also plastic or sometimes metal, used primarily as decorative binding and tying. Cloth ribbons are made of natural materials such as silk, velvet, cotton, and jute and of synthetic materials, such as polyester, nylon, and polypropylene. Ribbon is used for innumerable useful, ornamental, and symbolic purposes. Cultures around the world use ribbon in their hair, around the body, and as ornamentation on non-human animals, buildings, and packaging. Some popular fabrics used to make ribbons are satin, organza, sheer, silk, velvet, and grosgrain.
Foleshill is a suburb in the north of Coventry in the West Midlands of England. Longford, Courthouse Green and Rowley Green are to its north and Keresley is to its west. The population of the Ward at the 2011 census was 19,943.
Stevens had considerable experience of experimenting with the Jacquard loom and responded to the local recession by trying to develop new products. He had invented a way of using the programmable loom to weave colourful pictures from silk.By 1862, Stevens could produce four different designs; he attempted to appeal to the mass market, selling his products between six pence and fifteen shillings each. Some of these pictures were used for bookmarks, greetings cards and specialised products for the Admiralty.
The Jacquard machine is a device fitted to a power loom that simplifies the process of manufacturing textiles with such complex patterns as brocade, damask and matelassé. It was invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in 1804. The loom was controlled by a "chain of cards"; a number of punched cards laced together into a continuous sequence. Multiple rows of holes were punched on each card, with one complete card corresponding to one row of the design. Several such paper cards, generally white in color, can be seen in the images below. Chains, like Bouchon's earlier use of paper tape, allowed sequences of any length to be constructed, not limited by the size of a card.
A bookmark is a thin marker, commonly made of card, leather, or fabric, used to keep the reader's place in a book and to enable the reader to return to it with ease. Other frequently used materials for bookmarks are paper, metals like silver and brass, silk, wood, cord (sewing), and plastic. Many bookmarks can be clipped on a page with the aid of a page-flap.
The Admiralty, originally known as the Office of the Admiralty and Marine Affairs, was the government department responsible for the command of the Royal Navy first in the Kingdom of England, later in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and from 1801 to 1964, the United Kingdom and former British Empire. Originally exercised by a single person, the Lord High Admiral (1385–1628), the Admiralty was, from the early 18th century onwards, almost invariably put "in commission" and exercised by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who sat on the Board of Admiralty.
Business boomed and Stevens acquired two larger factories in turn; by 1875 he was calling his product the "Stevengraph", named after himself.He exhibited internationally in America, France and Holland, winning some 30 medals and diplomas. In 1878 Stevens moved to London and began to mount his Stevengraphs as framed pictures - by the late 1880s Stevens had over 900 different designs. In 1888 Stevens died following a throat operation and was buried in Coventry.
By the 1930s, Stevengraphs were considered collectable items, but the hobby was considered eccentric and mainly confined to female collectors. During the Second World War Coventry was attacked by German bombers; on 14 November 1940 the Coventry Blitz occurred, apparently destroying the Stevens factory and the records of the Stevengraphs. In the late 1950s it emerged that Henry Stephens, a descendant of Thomas, had saved one of the pattern books the night before the attack and kept it in safe storage; Henry donated it to the Coventry City Council, who in turn entrusted it with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Stevengraphs became valuable, with more male collectors entering the hobby.Prices rose, particularly for unusual or rarer images less popular during the Victorian period. A large collection of Stevens' work from his pattern book is still held at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.
Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.
The Coventry Blitz was a series of bombing raids that took place on the English city of Coventry. The city was bombed many times during the Second World War by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). The most devastating of these attacks occurred on the evening of 14 November 1940 and continued into the morning of 15 November.
Coventry City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Coventry in England, which has been a metropolitan district since 1974.
A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.
Weaving is a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. Other methods are knitting, crocheting, felting, and braiding or plaiting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling. The method in which these threads are inter-woven affects the characteristics of the cloth. Cloth is usually woven on a loom, a device that holds the warp threads in place while filling threads are woven through them. A fabric band which meets this definition of cloth can also be made using other methods, including tablet weaving, back strap loom, or other techniques without looms.
Joseph Marie CharlesditJacquard was a French weaver and merchant. He played an important role in the development of the earliest programmable loom, which in turn played an important role in the development of other programmable machines, such as an early version of digital compiler used by IBM to develop the modern day computer.
A Persian carpet or Persian rug, also known as Iranian carpet, is a heavy textile made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes and produced in Iran, for home use, local sale, and export. Carpet weaving is an essential part of Persian culture and Iranian art. Within the group of Oriental rugs produced by the countries of the so-called "rug belt", the Persian carpet stands out by the variety and elaborateness of its manifold designs.
Damask is a reversible figured fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibres, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with one warp yarn and one weft yarn, usually with the pattern in warp-faced satin weave and the ground in weft-faced or sateen weave. Twill damasks include a twill-woven ground or pattern.
An oriental rug is a heavy textile made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes and produced in “Oriental countries” for home use, local sale, and export.
Anatolian rug is a term of convenience, commonly used today to denote rugs and carpets woven in Anatolia and its adjacent regions. Geographically, its area of production can be compared to the territories which were historically dominated by the Ottoman Empire. It denotes a knotted, pile-woven floor or wall covering which is produced for home use, local sale, and export. Together with the flat-woven kilim, Anatolian rugs represent an essential part of the regional culture, which is officially understood as the Culture of Turkey today, and derives from the ethnic, religious and cultural pluralism of one of the most ancient centres of human civilisation.
Herbert Art Gallery & Museum is a museum, art gallery, records archive, learning centre, media studio and creative arts facility on Jordan Well, Coventry, England.
Assam silk denotes the three major types of indigenous wild silks produced in Assam—golden muga, white pat and warm eri silk. The Assam silk industry, now centered in Sualkuchi, is a labor-intensive industry.
Toye, Kenning & Spencer plc is a British jewellery and clothing manufacturer based in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham; Covent Garden, London and Bedworth, Warwickshire, England. Founded in 1685, the company remains family-run by members of the Toye family.
The Textiles of Mexico have a long history. The making of fibers, cloth and other textile goods has existed in the country since at least 1400 BCE. Fibers used during the pre-Hispanic period included those from the yucca, palm and maguey plants as well as the use of cotton in the hot lowlands of the south. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, the Spanish introduced new fibers such as silk and wool as well as the European foot treadle loom. Clothing styles also changed radically. Fabric was produced exclusively in workshops or in the home until the era of Porfirio Díaz, when the mechanization of weaving was introduced, mostly by the French. Today, fabric, clothes and other textiles are both made by craftsmen and in factories. Handcrafted goods include pre-Hispanic clothing such as huipils and sarapes, which are often embroidered. Clothing, rugs and more are made with natural and naturally dyed fibers. Most handcrafts are produced by indigenous people, whose communities are concentrated in the center and south of the country in states such as Mexico State, Oaxaca and Chiapas. The textile industry remains important to the economy of Mexico although it has suffered setback due to competition by cheaper goods produced in countries such as China, India and Vietnam.
Cash's, or J. & J. Cash Ltd., is a company in Coventry, England, founded in 1846, that manufactures woven name tapes and other woven products and is known for formerly making ribbons.
Congleton, Macclesfield, Bollington and Stockport were traditionally silk weaving towns. Silk was woven in Cheshire from the late 1600s. The handloom weavers worked in the attic workshops in their own homes. Macclesfield was famous for silk buttons manufacture. The supply of silk from Italy was precarious and some hand throwing was done, giving way after 1732 to water-driven mills were established in Stockport and Macclesfield.
Pochampally Saree or Pochampalli Ikat is a saree made in Bhoodan Pochampally, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district, Telangana State, India. They have traditional geometric patterns in Ikat style of dyeing. The intricate geometric designs find their way into sarees and dress materials. The Indian government's official air carrier, Air India, has its cabin crew wear specially designed pochampally silk sarees.
Axminster Carpets Ltd is an Axminster, Devon based English manufacturer of carpets, particularly the same-named Axminster carpets.
Handloom sarees are a traditional textile art of Bangladesh and India. The production of handloom sarees are important for economic development in rural India. Completion of a single saree takes two to three days of work. Several regions have their own traditions of handloom sarees.
A topshop or top-shop is a design of building specific to Coventry, Bedworth and Nuneaton in the English Midlands, of the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. A topshop has three storeys. It is unusual in that the lower two floors are living accommodation, and that the top floor is a workshop containing a weaver's loom. The windows on the top floor are larger than those on the lower two.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.