The history of printing

At the house of ARTIST, the exclusive pattern never ceases to surprise us with its marked style and chromatic vitality. It could not be otherwise to translate a keen sense of art transposed into a clothing gallery.

Reproduction or interpretation of a work of art, printing is at the heart of the collections that we love to wear so much. One of the great undisputed strengths of the brand, it must be recognized, is this constantly renewed offering of never-before-seen designs. Incomparable, unclassifiable, all these illustrations are rare decorative elements on breathtaking fabrics.

Sometimes repeated on the entire garment (all-over), sometimes semi-placed at the base or in a frieze, sometimes placed alone in the right place, this illustration creates a distinctive visual rhythm, a proportionate and harmonious whole.

This technique that they have mastered with ingenuity has come a long way to reach their work table and touch their artistic soul. What is the history of this know-how present in the cultures of almost every country in the world? For you, Brigitte and François wanted go back in time And tell the story of this fabulous journey.

Since Antiquity, ancient civilizations felt the desire to color, personalize and embellish their materials very early on.

The first printed appeared as early as the 2nd millennium av. BC, in India and Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq).

In the 7th century, Japan mastered the art of printing. stencil…unaware that it was the ancestor of the screen printing.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, the batik, originating from Java (Indonesia) consists of masking the undyed parts of the fabric with wax.

The method " on the board » uses as a stamp, a hard wood engraved in relief, coated with a thickener colorant China was already printing in this way two centuries BC, laying the foundations for woodblock printing on the silk. Already well known in the Orient in the Middle Ages, it continued to develop in India, China and the Rhine valley between the 10th and 14th centuries, and remained predominant until the 18th century. But at the end of the 16th century, it was the Portuguese who were the first to bring back to Europe the famous “Indian” painted and printed cotton fabrics.

A real breakthrough in the West, following which the first French printing workshop was created in 1648 in Marseille. The process continued until the mid-20th century. Some workshops still in possession of old wooden blocks still use them for exceptional series.

Around 1760 appears a cloth cotton of a new kind, decorated with monochromatic motifs, always printed on a wooden block. This Indian made in France », created by the Oberkampf factory in Jouy-en-Josas, takes the name of its most famous production site. Far from having definitively fallen into disuse, the toile de Jouy regularly returns to fashion and decoration trends.

In Europe, it was not until the modern era that artisans began manufacturing printed textiles. The industrial revolution of the 19th century then allowed new printing techniques to emerge (roller printing, flat frame printing, etc.). L'textile impression benefits from progress made in chemistry which changes the color palette, thanks to the first synthetic dyes developed following the discovery of mauveine.

Lyon is known for having been the cradle offlatbed printing derived from stenciling in the mid-19th century. In France and the USA, it prevailed until the early 1960s.

In 1962, this principle was transposed to a micro-perforated cylinder. Today, therotary frame printing is still the dominant technique in the textile industry for large series.

Another innovation of the 1960s: the sublimation or impression transfer. The image to be reproduced is printed on a paper support, then applied to the textile and heat-fixed.

From 1975, computing opened new avenues for industry: the era ofdigital printing. We reproduce all kinds of images by four-color printing, with an unlimited number of colors. Initially reserved for thick products (carpets, etc.), it has been used since the end of the 1990s to print small series in theclothing or furnishings, as well as for sampling or customization.

At the time of ecological balance, the latter appears to be the least resource-intensive and least polluting solution…

Find the magazine article from March 5, 2021 dedicated to digital printing.


Publié par Viviane VGM, Rédactrice du Magazine Artist La marque.

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