Alas, while her illustrations proliferate on Pinterest, I cannot find any information about the life and work of Marjory C. Woodbury. What a shame. I’d love to know more about her. For now, I’ll have to let her work speak for itself. I’ve chosen several illustrations she made for Indian Head Cloth from 1918 to 1921 for today’s post.
I adore the casual elegance of the fashions she depicts and the sense of fabric billowing about the figures. The wind catches up and swirls ribbons, bows, fringe, and veils, yet the women remain stately and elegant. The patterned fabrics are to die for and the hats are gorgeous. More often than not, there’s a puppy or kitten playfully engaging with one of the children.
Indian Head Cloth was a staple cotton fabric, marketed as an alternative to linen, originally manufactured in Nashua, New Hampshire. It was widely available in early dry goods and commercial catalogs for making into clothing, back when every mother knew how. Fabrics.net has an interesting compilation of notes on its development and history.
An extensive history of the Indian Head Textile factory can be found below
The copy is difficult to read in today’s illustrations. Here’s a sample of the advertising text.
Not a Fad but a Fashion
Just as really smart women adopt not the newest of the new fashions, but rather the best of the new fashions – because such garments look best first and last – so you will find the cleverest suits and sport clothes for summer made of Indian Head. It is the White wash-fabric that stays good looking. Garments made of it have a lasting atmosphere of style that is possible only with a very well-made fabric.
Indian Head helps the kiddies to look spic and span longer than seems possible. In it they are clad for any call of fun or fashion.
Many ready-to-wear clothes made of Indian Head are now shown in the shops. If the label is sewn in the garment you will know that it is the real Indian Head.
Made in one unchanging quality for 80 years, Indian Head may now be had in two finishes – soft or linen finish, each made in four widths, 27, 33, 36, and 44 inches.
Some stores sell Indian Head in the Wash Goods Department, others in the Domestics. The Linen Finish is usually sold in the Linen Department. Wherever you find it, the name INDIAN HEAD must appear on the selvage, or you are not getting Indian Head at all.
For Your Little Girl: Send 6 cents for a sample of INDIAN HEAD cut out ready to sew with a sample directions into a dress for an 18” dolly.”