A tour of The Design Library print studio

A month ago I went to New York for vacation and just prior to me leaving I got a “touch base” email from a print studio we work with there. I let them know I would be in New York that following week and was encouraged to come see their offices. They’re based out of upstate New York and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to fit it into my schedule. It took a little planning, but I got a few friends together and was able to make a road trip out of it.

The studio is called The Design Library and my visit to their offices was truly and amazing experience!! They house the country’s largest collection of vintage textiles and for a girl like me, being there was like being a kid in a candy store. It was like being in an interactive museum.  They had rows and rows, shelf after shelf of designs and they were all at my fingertips to look through. I’ve worked with many studios in the past and the majority of the time they come to your own offices with a selection of prints that pertain to what you may be looking for at that time. But I had never ever experienced a place like this.

Their offices are in an old fabric mill that originally produced fabrics then later became a bleachery of fabrics. They are on the top floor and have more space and product than I’ve ever seen of any studio. As you first enter the office, the room is filled with bookshelves of prints and one wall has flat file drawers filled.

…..THEN you exit that doorway and enter the main room which just blew my mind. There are aisles of fashion fabrics by designers, from Chanel to Pucci. Then aisles of shelving that have stacks and stacks of prints. The entire place is organized by type/style of print as well as by original designer.

Since I was there, I took full advantage of the opportunity and proceeded to scavenge through files of artwork.  I produce many of our print collections from my own artwork, but there is always a necessity for purchased artwork, especially vintage and reproduction collections where I want to design from an authentic piece of art.  So I just picked a place to start (and boy was that a tough decision) and just started looking.  My friends were very kind to be patient with me, as they knew this was especially relevant for work, not to mention such a fun activity for me.  I chose many prints, then, of course, had to edit down.  I left there with about 8 prints and that’s a lot for us…but they’re all great and all relevant and I can’t wait to start working with them.  Granted, I work about a year in advance, so it will be a little while…but the wait will be well worth it!


  1. Bea - September 4, 2013

    oh drool I’d love to see a place like this

  2. Susan Hoopes - September 5, 2013

    I would love to spend several days going through a place like that! How awesome!!!!

  3. Jenni - September 5, 2013

    Bea & Susan, I know, right! I was in heaven!! I wish I could go every month, just to absorb it all.

  4. Karin E. - September 6, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this experience. Based on how I feel just meandering around among my tiny stash of fabrics, I can only imagine how this felt! Beyond the personal experience, it’s also so wonderful to know that there still are “libraries” like this that preserve the textile works of art that so many talented people have created.

  5. Mari - September 9, 2013

    Gosh Jenni, it was really nice seeing all those pictures. How interesting. Great post!

  6. Richard - September 9, 2013

    Loved having you! Look forward to seeing you again sometime soon.