Born and educated around Zurich, Straub continued her studies in England at Bradford Technical College. She became a textile designer of note, with her work appearing in many homes and public places throughout the 20th century. She designed for domestic use, British Rail, British Airways, London Transport and various ocean going liners.
In 1934-37 she worked as a consultant designer to the Welsh Mills, where she designed hundreds of different cloths for blankets, bedspreads and upholstery. In 1950 she joined the Braintree firm of Warners, producers of high-quality crafted fabrics and settled in Great Bardfield in 1953.
Marianne Straub taught at several art schools, including the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art. She is represented in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the London Transport Museum.