Pamela Griffith Toiles
As I am well known for my line drawings and etchings I was commissioned by Ascraft Fabrics in 1987 to design the Macquarie and Bicentennial toiles for their range of Australian designed fabrics. It was my desire to use only Australian manufacturers and we were able to get Tennyson Textiles, to supply from National Textiles a fabric manufactured from cotton grown in Queensland and spun at Rocklea Spinning Mills. The fabric was printed in four colourways- red, blue, charcoal, and ecru.
The Bicentennial toile was made in 1987 and launched in the bicentennial year at History House. Manning Clarke opened the exhibition of this fabric. I had at one time been the historian for the Department of Main Roads and was skilled in research so the making of these toiles came as a lovely interest for me. I have continued to explore Australian Colonial history as a source of inspiration. The motif for this toile covers the full width of the fabric and could possibly be the biggest repeat pattern made for a toile. The Macquarie toile is a semi drop repeat and was very difficult to design as all drawings had to interface at the perimeters.
The toiles that I have designed have been for commemorative occasions. Pictures of the toiles can be seen on the Powerhouse Museum web site.
The experience with the Ascraft fabrics led to my being asked to make a design for “the Mary MacKillop Commemorative Toile” which was also printed by Tennyson Textiles (Aust) Pty Ltd in 1993. It was produced by the forward thinking Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Sydney, Australia, and I am continually asked where it can be purchased. Sadly it is out of print. The life of St Mary MacKillop were used as a foundation for the exhibits in the Museum and Tony Sattler was the curator. The repeat pattern 72 x 142 depicts 31 different line drawn scenes (religious, rural and domestic) in the life of Sister Mary MacKIllop who founded the order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1867 in South Australia. It was produced in the colour ways, charcoal, blue and red and was very useful in getting across the wonderful story of the life of the saint to a broad section of the public. The drawings have been adapted for a number of uses by the Sisters.
The visiting Pope, John Paul 2 received a length of the fabric as a gift from the children of Australia and it is housed in the Vatican Museum.
Bicentennial toile designed by Pamela Griffith 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 May 2018,
Bicentennial toile designed by Pamela Griffith |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 May 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia
Mary MacKillop commemorative toile, designed by Pamela Griffith 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 May 2018,
Mary MacKillop commemorative toile, designed by Pamela Griffith |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 May 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia