Tibor Reich was a Hungarian Jew who escaped Vienna to move to Leeds in the 1930s. His grandparents had run a spinning mill so he knew about the make up of textiles. His colour use was very daring compared to his British peers. Influenced by the Wiener Werkstatte his work also drew inspiration from the culture and landscape he found in the UK, which you can see in many of the names he used for his designs.

His fabrics were primarily woven but he produced printed textiles as well. His colour use is strong, using blocks of colour. They were very popular after the drab browns and duller colours that had been imposed during the wars. Leeds University hold the Tibor Reich archive and his company has been revived. The Whitworth Museum held a retrospective of his work at the beginning of 2016. In a guardian review of the exhibition his grandson spoke about his colour use.

Tibor believed that colour was an energy, that it was optimistic and something more people should incorporate into their houses,” says his grandson. “It was a reflection of his personality – that things should be exciting rather than drab, boring and austere. There were several designers at the time championing colour in interior design, but Tibor was certainly the most shocking


British Pathe have this wonderful film of Tibor’s creative process which was shared with me by Ghilaine Acara.