Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cover and Pad

Double pinks, a print with assorted shades and tints of pink and red often with a touch of white, were a perennial favorite for much of the 19th century. An alum mordant is needed to 'bond' the pink/red dye to cotton cloth.  A fabric 'printed' with two different strengths of an alum mordant and then processed in a madder dye bath will show a design in two shades of pink/red. You could also print 'three reds' as well as double purples and browns.

Mid to late 19th century double pinks were often printed with the 'cover and pad' style. First an acid resist of white dots was printed on the fabric. The dot area would resist the subsequent printed mordant and thus the madder dye. A cover cylinder printed a strong mordant which would produce a dark pink/red design. Next a padding roller with finely engraved lines or dots applied a weak mordant to the fabric. The result would produce a even-colored pale to medium pink background. Once dyed in a madder dye bath the fabric would have white dots on a pale to medium pink background and a stronger pink/red pattern--a double pink.

Here is an example of a 'cover and pad' double pink from my new line, 'Little Pink Stars'. This is 'strike off' fabric I received on Friday.


  1. Can't wait to see these! Might have to start planning a quilt in double pinks... I have an antique quilt with diamonds (plain diamonds alternating with a pieced diamond made up of four print diamonds - 2 different prints in each). I've been intending to re-create that quilt. Now may be the time.

  2. I must watch for Little Pink Stars - I am a sucker for double pinks.