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Published: 19 September 2020

By Andy Ross

Article of the Week number thirty-two - a sweatshirt

In the 1980s, something really interesting happened to printed textiles. 

The Cloth was a collective made up of graduates from the Royal College of Art: Fraser Taylor, David Band, Helen Manning and Brian Bolgner. Fraser and David had graduated from Glasgow School of Art before going to the RCA, and the quartet set up in business. The way the label worked was innovative. Instead of competing against each other for work the graduates decided to work together and they became an instant success. Their clients included big names like Calvin Klein, Betty Jackson, Yves Saint Laurent and Paul Smith while their clothing was sold in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Glasgow School of Art has an archive of work, some of which was damaged in the fires, and you can see pieces from that collection here. You can also read about the digitisation of the archive here.

Our piece comes from a friend, Ann Sutton, and is a black sweatshirt with "The Cloth's Collection Autumn/ Winter 1985". It, of course, has personal value because of the link with Ann, but it is also important because of its own origins and history.