Vera began designing textiles in 1946 after she and her husband, George Neumann founded Printex along with partner Werner Hamm. In the post- WWII period, army surplus silk which had been used for parachutes, became available at cheap prices.
They used a small silk-screening machine to print designs onto linen, which Vera then made into placemats. Printex started buying it, and soon they were in the scarf business, making the items in their Manhattan apartment, a loft on 57th Street, where Vera and George handled the entire operation. In 1948, the business had out-grown the loft and was moved from Manhattan to Ossining, NY.
My Mom tells me that she and my Nana used to “wait with baited breath” to see what Vera’s next new designs would be.
I’ve since inherited several Vera scarves (several, featured in the collage above), sheets and towels that I now treasure, too.
The Neumans bought an old mansion which was converted into her studio and factory. Vera's brother, Philip Salaff, joined the company, and it was he who was responsible for the organization of Printex.
The company was set up in a vertical fashion, meaning that the entire operation, from design to finishing, took place at the converted mansion.
According to the book: The third of four children, Vera was born to Russian immigrants Fanny and Meyer Salaff on July 24, 1907, in Stanford, Connecticut.
Vera was an outdoorsy child who loved nature: exploring it, collecting it and then rendering it in pen, pencil or ink.
Vera Neumann sold her company to Manhattan Industries after her husband’s death in the late 1960s, and in 1999 the company was bought by The Tog Shop, a company located in Georgia.
With the purchase came the original paintings, drawings and collages by Vera Neumann that were adapted for the designs of Vera products.
Mention vintage scarves and the name "Vera" immediately comes to mind.