Variation 3, "Bolling Crest " series, Sussex Print Works, 1915

Variation 3, "Bolling Crest " series, Sussex Print Works, 1915

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Sussex Print Works, 1915. Silk dress goods printed in black on white with a variation (S-222) of an "ant and swallow" design taken from the Bolling family crest in England, in honor of the marriage of President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Bolling Galt in December 1915. This variation has a pattern of checks in black on white, with black ants in the white squares and white birds in the black squares. The use of strict black and white reflects the fact that color dyes were scarce due to the blockade of Germany by British ships during WWI. German firms were the primary holders of dye and colorant patents, , and the blockade created a critical shortage of dyestuffs in the still-neutral United States in 1915-1916. When the US entered the war in 1917, on the British side, the German dye patents were seized and turned over to American manufacturers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
fabric length
date made
Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt
Sussex Print Works
place made
United States: New Jersey, Newton
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
black (overall color)
white ground (overall color)
plain weave (overall production method/technique)
cylinder printed (overall production method/technique)
overall: 36 in x 40 in; 91.44 cm x 101.6 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Sussex Print Works, Newton, NJ
World War I
American Silk Industry
World War I
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
Bolling Crest Dress Silks
American Silks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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