Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Vintage Fabrics Steiger

Discovering Harwood Steiger

One of the best parts of being a thrifter or vintage seller is the education you receive. Discovering an item and then returning home to see what can be uncovered about its past is intriguing!


Take for example, this piece of fabric.


Having a title and a signature makes research a lot easier.

I got on the computer that night and learned that the signature on my fabric belonged to Harwood Steiger, a mid-century silkscreen artist who worked out of a studio in Tubac, AZ for about 30 years.

And then I learned how prolific he was as a designer.
Squash Blossom                                                       Owls                                           Summer Rain                                                     
I came across a blog by a woman, Cynthia deVillemarette, who is writing a book about Steiger.

She says in her blog that Steiger designs were produced in 3 categories: 

Desert Table Cloth

 Table linens such as this example,

...dress panels such as the one shown below, and fabric yardage.
Saguaro Dress Panel

Steiger's designs are usually based on nature, particularly scenes from the Southwest however he did work on some mid century abstract designs as well.

From the blog:
"Harwood Steiger textiles became enormously popular with visitors traveling through Tubac.  Because of that, examples are being discovered from as far away as Canada.  They were no less popular with locals, as well. A recent trip to Tubac turned up nearly 100 examples held by local residents all these years.  The colors remain bright, almost as if only printed yesterday.

Harwood Steiger textiles remain popular today and are prized among collectors of fabric.  The cactus, roadrunners, quails, and botanical subjects of his desert designs are quintessential Harwood Steiger.  Less easily recognized are the wonderful abstracts, tropicals and Aztec designs, which are non-the-less wonderful."

Courting in the Cholla
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Steiger's designs number in the hundreds. The research on this was fascinating and I'm definitely keeping my eyes open for more Harwood Steiger fabric.

All images are the property of Cynthia deVillemarette and are used with permission. 

About the Author
Shannon Paasch is an active member of Got Vintage Shops. She owns and operates two shops on Etsy.

An eclectic mix of mid century modern, farmhouse chic, industrial and a bit of kitsch.
 -and- for all your ephemera needs.