Blue Printing

Blue PrintingDid you know that the blue-dye fabric is colored using indigo, the same dye used to color blue jeans? Indigo comes from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, which grows in India. It was imported to Europe in the beginning of the 17th century.

Producing textiles with the blue printing technique involves two chief processes: patterning with insulating material and dyeing, done with an indigo solution. The color of the white patterns that result from this process may be changed afterwards or by mixing dye into the insulating material, allowing the craftsperson to achieve yellow, green, orange, and even patterns in different shades of blue over the blue surface. For centuries, these practices were kept and handed down as secrets.

Blue printing had in important role in the history of folk costume and ornamental fabrics, and has enjoyed a renewed popularity in recent years as sales of decorations and gift objects manufactured using this age-old technique have risen.

Ildikó Tóth

Ildikó holds the title of Master of Folk Art. She received her training in the dye workshop founded by her family in 1906 in the city of Győr, in Western Hungary.  One of the core traditional industries of Győr was blue printing. By the middle of the 20th century, only a single workshop survived, where this rewarding, but difficult craft is continued by the fourth generation of blue printers in the family. Currently, Ildikó and her husband are producing fabrics using traditional handcrafted patterns and the original techniques passed down from preceding generations. Their workshop’s storefront has been preserved in its 1922 condition, furnished with turn of the century pieces.

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