Museum no. T.640-1996
Given by Mrs Elizabeth Payze
Horrockses’ cotton dresses, with their brightly coloured prints and full gathered skirts, were a fashion success story in the period after the Second World War. Horrockses was a large cotton manufacturing firm, founded in Preston, Lancashire, in 1791, known for weaving high quality household cottons. In 1946 they launched Horrockses Fashions Limited, a subsidiary company making ready-to-wear dresses, housecoats and beachwear, with headquarters in London's Hanover Square. The success of the firm was due to the quality of the design of the printed cottons, often commissioned from artists, combined with advanced production methods, which preserved the crispness of the cotton while allowing for frequent washing.
Dresses from Horrockses Fashions appealed to women of different ages and social backgrounds as the perfect summer dress. They were relatively expensive and were popular with members of the Royal Family - but working women would save up to buy one, often as a honeymoon outfit. This example was worn by Elizabeth Payze as a teenager.