The Design Library’s business is the sale and licensing of antique, vintage, modern and contemporary textile designs for inspiration to the fashion, home furnishings, textile, wall covering, graphic arts, and paper product industries.
The Design Library has the world’s largest and best organized collections of documentary fabrics, original paintings, wallpapers, embroideries and yarn dyes, numbering over seven million designs. The collections date from the 1750s to the present and are sorted into over 1200 categories for easy access.
There exists an infinity of ways to design a piece of paper or fabric. Across three hundred years of highly skilled creative work—mostly by anonymous artists—a marvelous assortment of designs has emerged. Pattern is everywhere and has always been a powerful means of individual and cultural expression.
The Design Library is proud of the depth, breadth, organization and continuing expansion of our archive. The scope of the archive collections, our vast reservoir of untapped designs and our constant new acquisitions mean that the Library is effectively a limitless resource.
We welcome the challenge to present designs that most successfully transcend their original context to inspire the collections of our clients today.
The Design Library was founded 45 years ago by Susan Meller and her late husband Herbert. Through their love of old fabric patterns and passion for collecting, the Mellers assembled a vast record of Western textile design. Then began the daunting project—which continues today—of cleaning, mounting and classifying the hundreds of thousands of documentary fabric swatches, paintings and antique wallpapers. The acquisition and classification of unique design collections from all over the world is ongoing and the archive continues to expand.
Peter Koepke joined the Design Library in 1990 and acquired the company in 2002. Peter achieved the move from Manhattan to the Hudson River Valley in 1998, has managed the development of digital design collections in Kosmos™ and Satellite™ and authored PATTERNS Inside the Design Library published by Phaidon Press.
The London office was opened in 2005 with the addition of Kate Denham as London Director. That same year Richard Weissman assumed the role of President in North America. Between Kate and Richard, the Design Library has greatly expanded its reach. These moves have enabled continued acquisition of coveted collections to add to the archive.