In the late 1950s Evelyn experimented with silk screening (starting with the drapes in their first apartment) and developed a series of designs. The first, Kites, was produced in Los Angeles by Tony Sharrar and Erick Erickson and was featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Home magazine in 1958.
Evelyn’s interest in textiles began at the University of Michigan where she had taken a weaving class in 1941. She loved the tactile quality of hand weaving. In the late 1950s the couple decided to offer woven hangings as part of the ERA line. They knew from experience that weaving was a slow process, so they needed a workshop that could produce Evelyn’s designs. They found a well-established cottage industry not far from Mexico City where the workers were skilled at weaving serapes. To produce the handwoven all-wool tapestries, the weavers followed a full-size drawing color-keyed to yarn samples. Evelyn’s first design in 1958, Hot Bird, was followed by a steady stream of new ones, and the Ackermans maintained a fruitful relationship with the same family of weavers for many years.