Thursday, 5 September 2013

Block printing

Cotton red and brown block printed textile from Fustat, Egypt. Item 73.408 The Textile Museum

I don't tend to do image round-ups all that often, because you can only show a few choice images in a good blog post. Instead, I store all my reference images in Pinterest so my collection slowly grows rather than remaining a static blog post, or even worse, having to revise or repost. Since receiving two beautiful block printed sarees from Flori of Northshield I've been investigating the process of block printing. I'll also been looking at various scraps of block printed fabric originating from India. Most of these scraps were found in Fustat, the old capital of Egypt. Due to the drier climate and the fact the Egyptians don't really burn their dead, these pieces have been preserved. According to the Textile Museum, Fustat fragments are red or blue dyes with a variety patterns, both open and closed.

I've included a number of images here as I'm considering doing my own block printed item, probably a small headscarf or heraldic favors. Once I've worked out what works best for me, I may even teach a class at St Monicas. Time to see if my vague recollections of what Piers taught me 10 years ago actually work!
Textile fragment. India. Gujarat, 13th - 14th C. Cotton plain wave, block-resist dyed. From LACMA

Textile Fragment, Egypt, Early Medieval. Linen plain weave, resist dyed. From LACMA -  (M.2002.1.695)

It seems that the complexity of the extant patterns in period are similar to what is achieved today, there are some lovely examples on my Pennsic Treasures 2 post. Also, this white and red dupatta which I got at the same time as my Pennsic Sarees.

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