Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reproducing a printed fabric

An early step in this process is the croquis (Fr. cartoon) produced by the fabric stylist. He or she usually has a great artistic eye as well as knowledge of what is possible with today's printing technology.

Often the ultra fine lines in some historical fabrics are not reproducible. In the 18th and 19th century the tiny details were etched into copper plates or rollers. Today you can not cut silk screen that finely--it will just fall apart. 

Here is an example of a fabric stylist's work. The drawing on the left is a tracing of the actual antique sample, upper right. The fabric stylist expanded the initial tracing to include the repeat of the two motifs--vertically and horizontally. The lower right visual is the croquis--an artist rendition of the reproduction-to-be. Notice the slightly larger stamen on the lower right flower (the edge of possible with today's technology) and the poor registration of both the blue and red above the stamen (we can reproduce this 19th century 'error'). Once the croquis is approved, the images are transferred to the mill and the silk screen is cut.

Here are two croquis from my newest line, Little Pink Stars. The colored squares below the fabrics are the 'paint' used. If I would want to lighten the deep rose color on the right hand double pink, the artists knows which 'shade' was used and then is able to update the croquis.

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