Posts Tagged ‘18th century printed cotton’

1810 woven Chinese silk cloth with handpainted decorations. Image @Victoria & Albert Museum

We have come to associate delicate white muslin material woven in India with Regency fashion to such a degree that it is easy to forget that other colors and printed fabrics were also used, and that many silk and cotton dresses were made of fabrics with colorful patterns and distinctive designs, such as this 1820’s day dress, or this 1790 caraco printed jacket…


1790 Caraco jacket of printed cotton. Image @Christie's

…or the lively Ackermann dress below.

Dinner dress, Ackermann. 1817

Some of the fabrics were  lavishly embroidered…

1810 Evening Dress with embroidery

… or painted to produce a patterned effect.

1780-1800. Painted satin cloth. Image @Victoria & Albert museum

But with the industrial revolution, printing and dying techniques began to be improved.

Fabric, Manchester art gallery

By the mid-eighteenth century, wood-block printing on cotton and linen textiles had developed to a high standard, even though the home market was affected by legislation protecting the silk and wool industries.” – *V&A


Block printed round gown. Image @Colonial Williamsburg

The dyeing techniques used to produce the strong fast colours on imported Indian chintzes which had dazzled European customers in the seventeenth century had been mastered, and colour ranges were developed further with the introduction of ‘pencilling’ of indigo in the 1730s, and ‘china blue’ by the early 1740s.” – *V&A

Block printed cotton, 1790. Image @Victoria & Albert Museum

“A commentator on the state of British textile arts in 1756 wrote : “chintz…can imitate the richest silk brocades, with a great variety of beautiful colours. This length of block-printed cotton dress fabric is typical in its design and colouring of English production at the end of the 18th century.” – *Block Printed Cotton, Victoria & Albert Museum


Child's cotton dress roller printed, 1820. Image @Vintage Textile

Roller printing also became popular.

Roller printing, a mechanical improvement on the copperplate technique, was developed in England in the late eighteenth century and was in use in the north of England by 1790.” – **Met Museum

Detail, roller printed Regency day gown.

The copper roller gave manufacturers the ability to print larger quantities of fabrics at greater speeds, for lower prices, and the production of printed cotton increased dramatically in the nineteenth century.” – ** Source: Textile Production in Europe: Printed, 1600–1800 | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

1800 dress fabric, British. Image @Victoria & Albert Museum


19th century white cotton gown with roller print. Image @Greene Collection

More on the topic:

1795-1800 Printed cotton gown detail. Image @Victoria&Albert Museum

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: