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Fabric – American, British, French, German

Many different kinds of fabric (silk, wool, viscose, lace, etc.)  were used to create some beautiful artwork during and after the war. Embroidery, patchwork, crewelwork and unique stitching  were commonly used  to commemorate a soldier, create a souvenir of the war, and to show pride in the victory of the allies with representations of their flags.

Below are different examples of fabric in the collection with information about the origins.


Examples of the American fabrics include service flags, pillow covers, bags and handkerchiefs.


British fabric artifacts include embroidered dedication to “Ol’ Bill” and Bruce Bairnsfather; a linen flag from Wales and a framed piece with the leaders of the Great War.


In France, an entire industry was created providing souvenirs to the families of the soldiers killed there during World War I. Some of the most beautiful pieces are the many lace handkerchiefs and scarves with dedications to the memory of the conflict. A sample of the French artifacts are below.


Below are two of the German fabric pieces in the collection. The first is a hand embroidered piece and the last one is a woolen canteen cover that would help reduce the condensation caused by having water in the canteen.

Arts of the Great War Collection