The Donald Brothers textiles company operated in Dundee between 1864 and 1983. Growing out of the jute industry, the operation moved from its manufacture of cloth for sails and sacks into the manufacture of decorative cloth in the late 1890s.
More about the Donald Brothers in future posts but for starters, here’s a design by one of their staff members Marjory Young, later Marjory Moffat.
Marjory Young worked for Donald Brothers as their in-house designer between 1948 and 1953, employed straight from Dundee art college until her marriage. Whilst there, she produced many textile designs for the company’s brand, Old Glamis Fabrics.
Hospitalfield Arts Centre in Arbroath recently ran a study day on artists, designers and craftspeople with an interest in textiles and a connection to the Tayside area.
Present throughout the day was Marjory Young’s daughter Issy Valentine who brought with her a portfolio of her mother’s designs and also a selection of fabric samples produced by Donald Bros. It was a fantastic opportunity to see and touch examples of work that came out of a very interesting and innovative textile company that seems not to be as well known as companies such as Edinburgh Weavers or David Whitehead, for example. The company’s use of highly acclaimed and well known designers such as Marion Dorn, Robert Stewart and Marian Mahler makes their limited visibility in accounts of 20th century textile design a bit puzzling. Perhaps it has something to do with the company’s relatively remote location in North East Scotland, even though Donald Bros had a London office in close proximity to Liberty’s?