Krasse, a reprocuced cotton print from a Danish collection.
Text Martin Ciszuk. Photo Laila Durán.
In Mars 2008 we visited Lolland-Falsters Stiftsmuseum, in Maribo, Denmark. This is an open-air museum on the south of the Danish islands where farmhouses originating from the 18th and 19th century in the neighboring countryside have been moved and rebuild. The houses are furnished with antiquities and reconstructed textiles. In summer time the museum is open to public and shown by guides wearing period costumes. In connection with the old interiors there is also a museum shop. Contact and cooperation with Durán Textiles started already in 2007 with the purpose of reproducing some fabrics from the museum collections.
Lolland-Falsters Stiftsmuseum has an extensive collection of old local textiles. In preparation for our visit around 20 pieces containing cotton prints were taken out of the store room: different christening garments and some small pieces of clothing dating from the 18th and the beginning of the19th century. During one hectic day we documented the fabrics, taking photos measuring pattern repeats, counting warp and weft ends and discussing with the museum staff. The work was conducted in the office outside the store rooms. We opened one box after another filled with exiting textiles. The majority of the cotton prints were preserved as lining for a sort of christening robe made like long bags of silk. The working space was limited, so we studied most of the textiles as they were lying in their boxes. Each piece had fascinating stories to tell and showed a lot of interesting details, but there were not enough time to study all different aspects. We had to concentrate on the cotton prints, which as a whole showed great similarity to textiles in Swedish collections, but also contained examples of Danish production and some for us hitherto unseen types of designs.
We have now chosen to reproduce two cotton prints from the collection of Lolland-Falsters Stiftsmuseum. Here we present the first: a small scale rococo design. The original fabric is a lining of a christening garment, a sort of small padded waistcoat in red silk damask bound with white silk, closed in the side and one shoulder with white silk bows. The design is block printed on medium fine white cotton in brownish black, bright red and brownish violet. The garment is only 25 cm in hight but cut in one piece, which made it possible to reconstruct the pattern repeat. Tradition holds that the small waistcoat was worn 1761 by the later dean Jacob Sidenius in Øster Ulslev, at his baptism in Norre Vedby church, Falster, Denmark. The origin of the fabric is not known. It resembles, however, some 18th century German cotton prints from Westphalia in the collection of Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg. It is possible that the print was made in Germany in the mid 18th century, but there were also cotton print manufactures in Denmark at this time leaving, the possibility of a regional production. The small scale of the pattern gives the impression of a use for clothing as linings or informal ladies’ wear as petticoats, jackets and day dresses, but cotton prints of all designs seems also to have been used for furnishing as blankets, bed hangings and coverlets etc.
The reproduced fabric is screen printed in the original color-way. It was named after a Swedish garden flower, Krasse, in English Indian cress. We send our thanks to the welcoming and caring staff we met at the museum store in Maribo. Durán Textiles is happy for the cooperation with one more Scandinavian museum, and we are looking forward to see the new fabric in the museum shop as well as in reconstructed interiors and garments. Later this year we will present yet another printed cotton from the collection in Maribo.
The lining of a small waistcoat was worn as a christening garment at a baptism in 1761.
The reproduced cotton print made by Durán Textiles as a screen print is named KRASSE.
The christening garment is made from red silk damask bound with white silk ribbon.
Martin Ciszuk from Durán Textiles documents a silk christening robe in the store rooms together with the museum staff of Lolland-Falsters Stiftsmuseum.
The lining of the christening garment was cut in one piece which made it possible to reconstruct the pattern repeat of the design.