Marianne Straub
1909 - 1992

Marianne Straub was one of the leading designers of textiles in Britain during the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

She was born in the village of Amriswil, Switzerland on 23 September 1909. Her father was a textile merchant so it was no surprise that she was soon attracted to a career in textiles. She studied art at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. Her second and third years were devoted to hand weaving and textiles. To improve her skills Straub later decided to move to the textile town of Bradford, England. She arrived in the north England town in 1932 and studied her trade at the Bradford Technical College.

After finishing her course she was invited to work at Ethel Mairet's Gospels studio at Ditchling where she developed her hand loom techniques. By the mid 1930s Straub was working as a consultant designer for the Welsh milling industry where she learnt the skills of mass production. In 1937 she joined the firm of Helios as head designer where she developed a range of woven and printed fabrics based on her own designs. In 1950 Straub later joined the firm of Warners who were based in Braintree, Essex.

Straub moved to the north Essex village of Great Bardfield in 1953. Great Bardfield during the 1950s was famous for its community of talented artists (which included Edward Bawden) and Straub became friends with most of them. On retirement from Warners in 1971 she left Great Bardfield and moved to Cambridge.