Thursday, 17 June 2010

Printed French Calico c1820

This is such a pretty floral cotton, a tiny print in dainty colours making good use of the recent invention of a solid, colourfast green dye for cotton by chemist Samuel Widmar, nephew of C P Oberkampf, the founder of the famous factory at Jouy in 1810. Peviously, a good, bright green could only be obtained by dying the required areas with indigo to produce blue, then carefully overpainting by hand with yellow. The final picture shows a reference for the fabric design from the book: Antique French Textiles For Designers by June K Laval.

This pretty fabric came from a disused rag store in France; several large barns filled with mouldy old bales of fabric and clothes collected and stored many years ago. It had been made up at a later date (most likely during the first half of the 20th century) into a long, slim mattress cover. It would make a gorgeous cover for a daybed, a beautiful change from the more usual ticking or plain linen covers so poular at the moment.


  1. hi, you have nice blog.. u can view also mine..

  2. I love the simplicity of this. Imagine how old and how long this gem has survived.

  3. Absolutely love the fabric pictures in your sidebar, especially the old toile....what a wonderful selection. Extremely jealous....