Novelty, or conversational, prints feature motifs that are neither abstract nor simple florals. Frequently the prints feature themes such as places, activities or holidays. The prints can range from the very simple to such complexity as to be hard to discern; from black and white to many-colored; and from serious to whimsical (more often the latter).z
With any interesting print, check the selvage in case there is information that identifies the print and the maker.
|1940s “date for the ballet” novelty print rayon|
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Photo by Hoyt Carter, text and additional photos by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain
|50s poodles in Paris novelty print cotton|
|Selvage information identifying a print by Stig Lindberg for the Nordiska Kompaniet|
To say I'm fascinated by novelty prints would be an understatement. I have considered keeping nothing but in my closet, except I love polka dots almost as much! Here are a few of my favorite vintage novelty prints from the sold archives, a Flickr set.
...and a 60s antique sailing ship print