Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tressard Fabrics




After publishing last week's post on Zajac & Callahan designed interiors, Danny Recoder of Waterhouse, Wallpapers and Fabrics informed me that the metallic floral wallpaper in one of the photos was an old James Ware/ Tressard design. Well, that certainly piqued my curiosity because I had never heard of James Ware nor Tressard before. And when Danny mentioned that both lines "were all the rage in the 1970s", I knew that I needed to learn more.

According to Danny, James Ware wallpaper and Tressard fabric were sister firms that produced wallpaper and fabric versions of the same designs. James Ware was run by James Ware and his partner Bill Fried, while Tressard was founded by Doy Rittgers. Danny wrote that while both firms shared the same designs, both the paper and fabric were printed to order in custom colors, something that is rather unusual today.

While both firms were indeed all the rage in the 1960s and 70s, they seem to have faded into obscurity. Ware died tragically in a car accident, while Rittgers passed away as a young man as well. Danny's enthusiasm for James Ware/ Tressard designs proved fruitful when he was able to track down some of the old screens and fabric samples, some of which you can see in this post.

I consulted my old magazines and have yet to find any photos in which a paper is credited to James Ware. I did, however, find some old photos of Tressard fabrics which I am including here. The photo at top is most interesting as it shows the home of Doy Rittgers, one that was designed by Rittgers' partner, prominent designer Louis Bromante. As you can see, Tressard fabric was used everywhere.

I'll keep hunting for more photos, but in the meantime, I thought you might like to see some of these old James Ware/ Tressard designs. While some certainly evoke a 1960s aesthetic, others still look fresh today.



The metallic floral print wallpaper in this Zajac and Callahan designed dining room was a James Ware/Tressard design called "Renee" in honor of the designer Renee Lynn Leonard. Danny drew the color separations and made the wallpaper screens for this print when he worked at James Ware during summer vacations from school.



This yellow and white bamboo on sailcloth Tressard print was called "Mado"



A brown and white latticework print



"Newport"



"Dassah", a vinyl with cotton stitching by Tressard.




"Lisette"





"Sabrina"



"Monte", previously named "Bromonte"




"Serure"




"Odette Stripe"


All fabric sample photos courtesy of Danny Recoder; all other photos from House & Garden.

11 comments:

  1. I also like that colossal houndstooth pattern in the first image and what appears to be a Greek Revival period heating stove.

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  2. I love this post! Lisette is at China Seas now, available at Quadrille as both an indoor and outdoor fabric.

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  3. My father was a designer for forty years until he retired fifteen years ago. He used Tressard fabrics often and as a high school art student I remember coloring the Sabrina pattern for him to send for a custom order.

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  4. So much talent to be lost too young. thanks. Mary

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  5. I have 12 yards of Tressard, "Rene", that I have been trying to research before I list to sell - your post has the most information I've found to date. Thank you!

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  6. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Thanks for posting this. I just googled my great-uncle's name after my grandma gave me a magazine were he (Doy Rittgers) was featured. He was my mom's uncle.

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  7. Anonymous3:11 PM

    We recently acquired several Tressard fabric samples of "Empress" and "Dovan", in mint condition. The quality of the materials, colors and design are truly incredible. Thanks for posting this to help us find out more about the company and the people running it! - Jenna and Michelle of Mercury Retropolis in Harper Woods, MI

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  8. My wife Elaine an l have very fond memories of our friends, Doy and Louis, when we lived in Deal, NJ

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  9. Hello! I have stumbled across two different Tressard designs in an older home we purchased. They are beautiful but not shown here. I have the shipping from the order with Tressard on the top. What should I do with these? Is there any interest in them?

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    1. Jordan, I think there would be interest by textile collectors and/or designers who remember Tressard from back in the day.

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    2. Okay! They are beautiful, but I'm not see how I could showcase them or use them in the home.

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