Newsletter No. 7-07 (Jun. 2007)   Page 2 of 5 / Sidan 2 av 5. [back to page 1] Arcive/Arkiv: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


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:



Block Printing in India
Text Martin Ciszuk

The original for Duran Textiles’ reproduced design Poppy is a block printed and pencilled cotton, made in India in the early 17th century. The printing method has a thousand years history and is still performed by craftsmen in modern India. We decided to reproduce our reconstructed design in the same manner as the original, It is made in a hand printing workshop in Bangalore in the highland of southern India. The working methods used are similar to what was used in Europe in the 18th century before the mechanisation of textile industry.

The pattern repeat is drawn on waxed paper, one for every colour to be printed. The blocks are made of Burmese teak, a hard wood that will not be deformed and worn out in the printing process. After the blocks are roughly shaped the side used for printing is planed and polished. The pattern is transferred to the block via the waxed paper. The paper is pressed to the block during heating which makes the polished surface absorb the wax and the painted design. The design is then cut out using knife and chisel. The planing and polishing have to be done before cutting, otherwise the cut design would be damaged. The blocks are soaked in oil for ten days, mustard oil and ground nut oil is used.

The fabric is stretched on a printing table with a soft surface and the pattern repeat is measured and marked. The blocks are dipped in the dyestuff and pressed to the fabric one by one. First the outline in brownish black is printed, then branches and flowers in brown, red and violet. Finally details in yellow and green are pencilled by hand in the same way as the original design. Pigment dyestuffs are used which are fixed to the fabric by heating. The reason for some of the colours to be pencilled in the 17th and 18th century, was that the pigments for blue, yellow and green could not be used together with the chemicals and mordents that were used in these days to fix the colours.

We highly appreciate the cooperation with the Indian block printers and their impressing craft skills. Because the reproduction is made in this way, the new fabrics get an expression very close to the ancient originals.

The original fabric is in the collections of Statens Historiska Museum (National Museum of History) in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a lining of an altar frontal made of a brocaded Indian or Persian silk. In the same lining there is another printed Indian cotton with a design of red sprays on white ground. Duran Textiles AB have made a reconstruction also of this fabric, and named it Ling. It is not known what the fabrics were intended for before lining the altar frontal, but similar designs were used both for furnishing and clothing in India as well as Europe during 17th and 18th century. Printed and painted Indian cottons were highly valued in Europe and was imported mainly by Dutch and English merchandise companies. In the 17th century they could cost as much as the silks. When the European printing technology developed in the 18th century it was the Indian prints that was the inspiration both in methods as well as designs. Duran Textiles AB are now also producing hand quilted blankets using the two reconstructed Indian block printed cottons.

Reconstructed bodice made of Ling, apron of Poppy.


(big picture – click on picture)

Design is transferred to waxed paper.

Printing block is cut.

Printing, one block for each color.

Yellow and green is penciled.

Pattern repeat is measured and printed.

Quilted blanket of reconstructed cotton block prints.

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