The John Bright Collection owns a number of garments produced by the Footprints Studio. The studio was founded in 1925 in West London to produce and sell block printed textiles in a fresh and modern idiom. One of their female designers, Joyce Clissold, took over the business in 1929, becoming its guiding light, and continuing to work on a smaller scale until her death in the early 1980s. Unlike some textile design studios that employed women working in their own homes in a freelance capacity and were paid less than men, the female orientated Footprints took on young women and not only trained them in all the steps of production, but also provided a sense of community and companionship. From 1933 until 1940 the company’s ready-made garments, soft furnishings and fabrics were sold in their London shops, and a bespoke service of design and fabric choice was also available to their customers.
Like the jacket seen as a Related Item, this Footprints coat is unlined and made of loosely woven linen; its large motifs of abstract plant forms are more organic in form and muted in colour than those of the jacket, but similarly are placed symmetrically, rising to an apex at the back, leaving the top of the garment plain. The body is printed as one piece of cloth across its width, shaped at the sides with tucks in place of seams. Lightweight coats and jackets, worn open at the front, were one of the specialities of the Footprints Studio.
As a hand-printed item it would not have been cheap, appealing to an affluent customer with artistic interests.