Indienne Textiles: A Story of Obsession, Prohibition and Even Execution

Image:┬áMuseum of Fine Arts Boston, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,┬áDemode Couture This is a story of obsession, the forbidden, prohibition and even executions – a trade war that ended with the ultimate triumph of, believe it or not, colorfast patterns of Indienne Textiles. Some called it a time of madness. The drama was caused by a love affair with painted cotton cloth. As you might suspect from these signs of desperation, this wasn’t just any painted cloth. It was the “Indienne” fabric from the shores of India, imported into France many centuries ago. Historical writer Jules Michelet described the setting well, for those of us who might have a hard time understanding this craziness. Imagine being a woman in the 1600s with a black dress that you don’t want to wash for a decade, for fear of it falling into faded tatters. Then imagine a white cotton cloth with vivid colors of red and blue – with the flourishes of a floral pattern – becoming affordable for you! Even if your husband is a poor laborer, you can have dresses covered in flowers. And not only is the cloth beautiful, you can wash it and the colors won’t fade! And … Continue reading Indienne Textiles: A Story of Obsession, Prohibition and Even Execution