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Adamley Archive grows with three exciting acquisitions

Medaax Limited is pleased to announce the acquisition of the David Evans & Co., AO Aldwinkle and Brocklehurst-Whiston print archives.

The central and digital copies will be kept in the newly built library at Adamley in Macclesfield. These copies will be available for customer use, while a second copy will be loaned to our partner E. Marinella, and kept at their showrooms in Naples, Italy.

David Evans & Co.

David Evans & Co. was one of several fabric printing businesses to establish themselves in London in the 1800’s. David Evans himself was already a revered and respected silk merchant and when he purchased his Crayford site in South East London, work to produce quality printed silks began soon after.

The company gained an international reputation for their Real Ancient Madder Silks created using a special and secret process. Many of you will know we recently uncovered vast numbers of documents dating back to the 1920’s, including those very same Evans Madder recipes. As a commemoration we will be launching the David Evans, True Ancient Madder collection on the 31st January 2021.

David Evans & Co. closed on 4th July 2001 and, almost two decades on, we are delighted to have acquired such important and valuable information, including original hand drawn sketches, block prints and original fabric swatches.


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In 1745, the Brocklehurst family opened their first silk factory in Macclesfield and grew to become one of the biggest silk manufacturers in the country. William Brocklehurst, born in 1818, was the head of the family in the 19th century and he sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1880 and from 1885 to 1886.

Unknown to many, the company was also involved in the production of silk ‘escape maps’ for Allied soldiers in the Second World War. A detailed map of France was printed onto silk, a material that wouldn’t crumple, fall apart when wet, or make unwanted noise when being used.

This 1940s promotional video for the company describes them as ‘synonymous with all that is best in silk’ and ‘the most greatest silk firm in the most greatest silk town.’ 

With Adamley being based in Langley, Macclesfield, it is a privilege to have acquired the archives of a local company, one that played such a big role in the growth of the British silk printing industry by helping to fly the flag for British craftsmanship across the world.

silk escape map
Brocklehurst-Whiston silk escape map of France, image courtesy of Macclesfield Museum.

AO Aldwinkle

We are also pleased to have acquired the AO Aldwinkle archive adding to the offerings to our clients. 

The Adamley Archive

The Adamley Archive is a doorway into England’s rich and diverse textile heritage, a textile library established to preserve thousands of documents ranging from the mid 1900’s up to the present day. The archive includes hand drawn designs, block printed patterns and prints on fabric. All designs are stored by subject: paisleys, medallions, geometric shapes and florals.

In the digital era we are able to constantly update our archive so that it can be regularly used by our in-house design department, and by clients around the world as a source of inspiration for their new collections.

Learn more about the Adamley Archive here.

To enquire about the Adamley Archive please do feel free to leave us a message, and we look forward to seeing you all at Adamley over the coming months. Wishing you all a great 2021.