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Published: 14 November 2020

By Andy Ross

Article of the Week - number forty - A woven picture from Cash's of Coventry

Nearly two centuries ago in Coventry, England, John and Joseph Cash started a silk weaving company. 

The two Quaker brothers were sons of a wealthy stuff-merchant, who set up a silk weaving operation in 1840 to make ribbons. Quickly Cash's grew due to demand for their products for fashion and the brothers set up a factory operation in 1857. The company changed its focus in the 1860s due to more imports from the Continent and started to make name labels in the 1870s, still being made today. It is probably these name labels for which Cash's is most famed but the business has also included woven pictures, possible because of the Jacquard looms used to make ribbons. Some of those pictures are now very valuable because they were produced in limited numbers for specific reasons. 

This piece in the collection shows the font in Coventry Cathedral and was probably made for the tenth anniversary of the iconic building. The photographs show the woven piece and a photograph by Steve Cadman of the font in situ. Cash's also made a picture of the outside of the new and old cathedral buildings together as part of the same celebrations.