Newsletter No. 2-08 (Apr. 2008)   Page 2 of 4 / Sidan 2 av 4. [back to page 1]
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This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



The reproduction of a 18th century fabric.
Text Martin Ciszuk.

The reproduction of historic fabric requires many competences. In Durán Textiles several individuals cooperate in Sweden to prepare a new design before it can be produced by our skilful craftsmen in India.
Some of our first reproductions were made using published textiles as prototypes, because museum collections are sometimes hard to access and complicated to search for specific objects. Nowadays we always make the documentation ourselves. We have developed good contacts with museum staff and curators of collections who help us to find new interesting textiles. Our network is constantly growing with new partners of cooperation.

Many times we are presented several textiles and artefacts composed by different fabrics. We try to document as mush as possible at a museum visit before we make the choice of what will be reproduced. In this way we build a bank of pictures and information on 18th century textiles that will be useful in later reproduction or research projects. Sometimes one visit is enough, but often we return for closer analyses and re-examination of some chosen textiles.

The complete piece is photographed, to show the original use of the fabric. We note the inventory number to be able to make exact references to the museum collection and gather the information of the artefact that can be found on catalogue cards and in published papers. When we photograph the design it is important to keep the camera exactly parallel to the fabric, as a oblique perspective would distort the design. When close up photos are taken we take care to include a ruler to make sure that the scale of the motifs will be correctly reproduced.

We make notes of textile technical details of the fabrics: measurements, weave, material, density, and colours. These notes are the precondition for making an authentic reproduction, even if adjustments and compromises sometimes have to be done to fit the modern production. Technical details also often give clues to the origin, production methods, dating and use of a fabric.

Using the photos as a starting point the design are cleaned and redrawn. Sometimes several pictures have to be assembled and treated in computer based soft wares to make the pattern repeat and its disposition complete. When the repeat is clear it is drawn with ink and coloured by hand. This requires great skill from our artist, Torkel Henriksson, who is supposed to reproduce the motifs keeping their 18th century character without adding any of his personal and modern expression to them. This original is then scanned back into the computer. If the design is going to be woven it is converted to a technical draft where every colour represents a weave effect or structure, if it will be printed the design is separated so that every colour becomes separate sheet representing a block for block printing or a screen for screen printing.

The developed originals can be sent digitally to India, but the size and direction of the design has to be carefully explained. In block printing a large pattern repeat might require two blocks and in screen printing the height of the pattern repeat has to be adjusted to fit the size of the screen frames. Our intention is to keep the reproductions as close as possible to the size of the originals, as this is an important character of a fabric.
We do a careful documentation of the colours of the original fabrics using an international colour code system. This could sometimes be hard on textiles exposed to two hundred years of light, wear and washing. We have to look for the preserved colours in seams and folds protected from light and wear. In some cases chemical processes connected to dye stuffs and mordents have changed the colours completely. The colours then have to be reconstructed using other sources as better preserved textiles, sample prints on paper or painted representations of fabrics. We reproduce the fabric in its original colour. Often we then enlarge our collection with more colour ways created using the 18th century colour scheme but adjusted to modern commercial requirements.

After some weeks a first sample is returned for evaluation of the scale and rendering of the design, and when this is ok new samples are made where the colours are adjusted. The reproduction is not woven or printed in full scale before all samples are approved and confirmed. The complete procedure from museum visit to fabric in stock takes at least six months
The unique combination of skills of Durán Textiles staff and co-operators is the secret behind our successful reproductions of 18th century fabrics.



The design we have chosen to call ROSITA used in a jacket and a skirt.

The original is lining in a short gown from Kallfors Gård, Järna, Sweden.

We start by taking photos of all designs chosen for reproduction. Here Laila Durán at work.

Martin Ciszuk is analysing weaving techniques and the quality of the fabric.

The photos are sent to the atelier where the photos are put together to a complete repeat in the computer.

The original will then be painted with a brush and ink to keep the character of the design before it is scanned in to the computer and the colour separation is made. The repeat will then be adjusted to the screens or blocks.

Printing sample is made and colours adjusted.

The design is approved and adjusted to the screens.

ROSITA is printed in six colours.

The fabric is printed and ready for export.

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