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A meeting of ladies was held in this city recently to consider the possibilities of industrial art in furnishing occupation for women.
Mrs. Florence E. Cory, Principal of the Woman’s Institute of Technical Design, which was recently established in this city, advanced the proposition that whatever could be done by man in decorative art could be done as well by women, and she made an earnest plea to her own sex to fit themselves by proper training to engage in remunerative industrial work. Mrs. Cory enjoys the distinction of being the first woman who ever attempted to make designs for carpets in this country. She said that four years ago, when she came to this city, there was no school at which was taught any kind of design as applied to industrial purposes, except at Cooper Union, where design was taught theoretically but not practically. During the past year or two, however, in many branches of industrial design women have been pressing to the front, and last year eighteen ladies were graduated from the Boston Institute of Technology. Most of these ladies are now working as designers for various manufacturers, eight are in print factories, designing for chintz and calico, two have become designers for oil-cloths, one is designing for a carpet company, and one for a china factory. Carpet designing, said Mrs. Cory, is especially fitted for women’s work. It opens a wide field to them that is light, pleasant, and remunerative. The demand for good carpet designs far exceeds the supply, and American manufactures are sending to Europe, particularly England and France, for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of designs yearly. If the same quality of designs could be made in this country the manufacturers would gladly patronize home talent. One carpet firm alone pays $100,000 a year for its designing department, and of this sum several thousands of dollars go to foreign markets. More technical knowledge is required for carpet designing than for any other industrial design. It is necessary to have a fair knowledge of the looms, runnings of color, and manner of weaving. Hitherto this knowledge has been very difficult, if not impossible, for women to obtain. But now there are a few places where competent instruction in this branch of industrial art is given.