Inside Springs Creative’s Baxter Mill Archive, designers seeking inspiration for their latest collections can explore a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind fabrics, hand-painted design boards and vintage art books spanning three or more centuries, from nearly every corner of the world.
By Lisa Rubenson
Walk past the giant sculpture of a fabric loom in front of a renovated cotton mill in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and enter the headquarters for Springs Creative. A sign stamped with the words “Baxter Mill Archive™” directs you to the right.
But it’s the tagline beneath the graphic that really tells you where you are: “ENTER THE VAULT.”
Prepare yourself. You’re about to journey back in time through a 600,000-plus piece collection of fabric swatches, garments, hand-painted art and antique books that you might expect to see only in a world-class museum or on the back lot of a movie studio.
French toile and indigo. African shiboris. Uzbek ikat robes. Mexican serapes alongside Scottish plaids. Rich velvet brocades from the Italian Renaissance next to delicate lace collars and silk jacquards…