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Michael Orchard - Lace Entrepreneur 29 March 2018

During the Lace Unarchived exhibition, we have been pleased to officially launch the lace archive at NTU as the ‘Michael Orchard Lace Archive’.

NTU’s Amanda Briggs-Goode (centre) with David Orchard (left) and Research Fellow Dr. Gail Baxter

Michael Orchard was the owner of several lace businesses in the Nottingham area - Orchard & Clarke, Floral Textiles, Orchid Laces and Walter Fletchers, The Warper. He studied lace design at People’s College Nottingham in the 1950s as part of his 7-year apprenticeship. He started his own business at the age of 22 and went on to design and manufacture home textiles for his own factories and design lace for intimate apparel for all of the top lingerie brands  including Triumph, Berlei, and Wacoal. With clients from all over the world, but particularly in New York’s Garment District, he also taught the next generation of American textile manufacturers who would send their sons over to him for six months to a year to learn all aspects of the trade.

Lace Unarchived

Michael’s son, David Orchard, has, as part of a memorial to his Father in recognition of his contribution to the lace industry and heritage of Nottingham, kindly chosen to donate Michael’s collection of over 30 lace history and design books to NTU in the hope that they will continue to educate aspiring designers. He has also donated funds to support a research fellow to work with the archive to support our ongoing work to evaluate the collection from a conservation perspective to ensure that the it continues to be accessible to future generations and that they continue to benefit from this important resource.

Michael Orchard is seen in this photo (bottom left) of the Battle of Britain lace panel and his wife at the top right

Battl of Britain Panel Lace Unarchived

Battle of Britain Panel shown at Nottingham’s Council House

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