Remembering the tea-towel queen
IConic designer Pat Albeck, who died last year, aged 87 (September 27, 2017), is celebrated in a new book, Queen of the Tea Towel. Published by the national Trust, for whom she lovingly created charming illustrations for more than 300 tea towels, it features an introduction by her son, Matthew Rice. Born in Hull, Albeck was the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russian Poland. A prolific designer throughout her life, her artwork has featured in fashion, textiles, tableware and books. Among her most famous patterns was the 1960s Daisychain for John Lewis, which was reissued for the store’s 150th anniversary in 2014, and her longstanding association with the national Trust is legendary. ‘Pat’s perception of pattern and colour, her passion for gardens... and her ability to see what was speaking to those who loved the places she illustrated made for a remarkable series of images,’ writes Mr Rice, who reveals how her designs were often created after ‘briskly waving aside instructions from bristly, tweedy land agents or indeed former owners’ (national Trust, £12.99).
The country kitchen’s musthave accessory: Pat Albeck’s Thomas Hardy tea towel