Visiting the museum of fabric printing in Mulhouse in eastern France, the first pleasure comes from your ticket.
Fittingly for a museum about fabric, the ticket is just that...fabric.
Explanatory case notes (handily written in English and German in case your français est un peu rouillé) provide clear easy to follow notes on history and techniques.
They explain that textile printing uses the same techniques as dying cloth. Before the textile is put into the dying vat, the mordant is applied using a wooden board. This permits the colour to penetrate the fabric, thus revealing the pattern.
Sample vials of colours 19thc.
By the 18th century the European textile trade was so important that legislation was introduced to safeguard the origin of the fabric produced. Designs of printed fabrics had to be countermarked; amongst the details were the name of the manufacturer and the date of printing. These marks served as advertising at the time and now constitute a valuable archive resource.
This display of countermarked fabrics includes examples from Switzerland,Germany, France and of course Mulhouse itself.
Some more modern fabric designs.
A furnishing sample 'Lily of the Valley'
A furnishing sample 'Poppies in a vase'
French or English 1930s
The processes of printing are here as well...old and new.
This is a STORK ink printer c1980s.
This caraco from Alsace (?) c1800 is in a print called 'Bonnes Herbes'. A caraco translates as a camisole in English. The term can refer to a longer woman's jacket, but is used here for something I would call a spencer.