A Matter of Form (1929)

A film to promote CWS Desbeau corsets.

The film shows the historical development of the corset from the ancient Greeks to Victorian times.

The CWS Desborough Corset Factory is shown, from testing cloth and marking out patterns to the finished garments being displayed in a co-operative store.

Her Dress Allowance (1930)

A young married couple argue about whether the wife can have a larger dress allowance.

She visits a friend, who offers to let her into the secret of how she manages to have pretty clothes and fine bed linen.

A year later, the husband asks about the extravagance of the soft furnishings he sees in the house and the wife explains the secret – co-operative membership – and the exterior and interior of the CWS hosiery factory, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire are shown. The factory employed 960 workers at the time.

The end of the film is missing and it cuts off on a caption. It was made in sound as well as silent, but only the silent version survives.

From Back to Back (1933)

A promotional film for CWS tailoring and men’s outwear – from “sheep’s backs to men’s backs”.

The film shows a flock of sheep being sheared and how the wool is processed in a CWS mill (probably at Batley) and woven into fine cloth.

Made to measure and ready to wear tailoring departments are shown making up the cloth and packing the finished garments. Shop windows showing men’s wear appear, and a collage of the CWS men’s wear factories.

The film was made in sound as well as silent, but only the silent version survives.

Videos courtesy of the National Co-operative Archive. Content is copyright and no material may be copied, republished (in print or on a website), posted, broadcast or transmitted without prior written permission being received. Anyone wishing to adapt these materials for their own creative work must also receive permission before doing so. Requests for use of materials should be addressed to and should include details of the material involved and of the proposed use.