The story of prints fascinates, spanning centuries and touching cultures around the world.
Hitting the highlights, according to the experts at the Musée de l’Impression sur Etoffes (The Museum of Printed Textiles) in Mulhouse, France, Indian printing and dyeing processes were practiced by craftspeople from as early as 2,000 BC. Fast forward to 1640, and traveling Armenian merchants brought these Indian techniques to France. By 1670, Indian-style calicoes were then being printed in England. In subsequent years, opposition from wool and silk makers kept the European print industry small, until it exploded in the 18th century.
Skipping ahead a bit more, screen printing of textiles then developed in the 1930’s, followed by high-temperature transfer techniques in the 1980’s. Today, modern fabric printing may involve high-tech lasers and jets controlled by computers, rather than the blocks and presses of yesteryear.
We are now seeing these historic elements collide, with modern prints executed in a variety of ways drawing influences from nature, travel, pop culture, and designers’ own imaginations. Indeed, prints were invaluable on Spring 2013 runways, comprising a mixture of florals, graphics, and abstract modernism. Chaos or harmony? That’s your call.
Prints On The Runway
Peter Pilotto combines gingham checks with elite modernism.
From Rolando Santana, refined elegance.
A perfect Italian coast vacation ensemble from Timo Weiland.
Monique Lhuillier shows floral radiance top to bottom.
Understated and subtle, Carven’s lavender suit is Parisian-printed.
Shop The Trend
Additional research by Natalie Starnes.
(Image credits, from top: 1. Blog.GreenhouseFabrics.com, 2. PeterPilotto.com, 3. RolandoSantana.com, 4. TimoWeiland.com, 5. MoniqueLhuillier.com, 6. Carven.com, 7. Tibi.com and Zara.com)