Cotton_Prints_Index

 

The sign of the unicorn. A fabric shop for 18th century reenactors and historians.

18th Century Cotton Printed Fabrics

Chintz | 18th Century Cotton Prints

 

 

18th Century Cotton Prints

Printed cottons made before the process became much more sophisticated in the early 19th century have a charm that was lost with the advent of roller printing. Some of the prints offer the sought after monochrome designs on a light background that in the period were printed using the color resist method or by block printing. You may choose to make an entire printed gown, jacket or banyan and have a garment to be proud of. Alternatively you may buy a small piece to border a petticoat, line the turn back cuffs on your short gown or to make a pair of pockets adding a touch of luxury to your wardrobe.

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Red Shell Cotton
45" wide $24.95/yd.

Inspired by prints seen in several extant garments from about 1740 to 1800, red on white prints are often described in runaway ads and are found in The Foundling Museum's Billet Books and numerous shell prints are seen in these same billet books. This printed cotton will make a historically accurate women's gown or jacket. The gown or jacket may have a matching petticoat of the same fabric but petticoats were usually not made of a print unless the upper garment is also of the same print. Men's banyans were also made of printed cottons. For example in The Pennsylvania Packet of 1773, “Ran away . . .  an Irish servant girl . . .  she had on and took with her, a calico short gown . . .  She stole and took with her, one calico gown of a shell figure” is cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls. White 35/2 linen thread is a good match for hand sewing. This print was created through the careful work of Hillary Rizen and is sold exclusively through Wm. Booth, Draper.

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Calico cotton swatch for 18th century reenactors, 18th century interior designs, and historic interpreters.
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Blue Shell Cotton
45" wide $24.95/yd.

Inspired by prints seen in several extant garments from about 1740 to 1800, this blue on white print was used for working class garments. Blue on white prints are only slightly less commonly seen than purple on white in The Foundling Museum's Billet Books and numerous shell prints are seen in these same billet books. This printed cotton will make a historically accurate women's gown or jacket. The gown or jacket may have a matching petticoat of the same fabric but petticoats were usually not made of a print unless the upper garment is also of the same print. Men's banyans were also made of printed cottons. For example in The Pennsylvania Packet of 1773, “Ran away . . .  an Irish servant girl . . .  she had on and took with her, a calico short gown . . .  She stole and took with her, one calico gown of a shell figure” is cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls. White 35/2 linen thread is a good match for hand sewing. This print was created through the careful work of Hillary Rizen and is sold exclusively through Wm. Booth, Draper.

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Calico cotton swatch for 18th century reenactors, 18th century interior designs, and historic interpreters.
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Chintz | 18th Century Cotton Prints

Chintz

Chintz (from the Hindi word chint, meaning to sprinkle or spray) were made using a multi-step process involving painting, resist dyeing, and mordant dyeing. A final finish was applied by burnishing with shells or beaten with a mallet to give them a shiny surface.

Both in America and Europe but especially in Britain and the Netherlands chintz fabric from India soon became the craze from gentry to servants after their first introduction in the 17th century. The glazed and printed cotton was a favorite long into the 19th century until the cheaper machine made copies replaced the hand painted cloth from India. In the 17th century it was used at first for bed hangings and bedcovers of the gentry then when worn out reused for clothing the children of the lower sorts. But the bright colors of the beautiful prints were soon being used for linings and later into women's jackets, skirts, and gowns and men's banyans and enjoyed by all economic classes. Much of what is written here is summarized from the book Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West by Rosemary Crill.

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Cotton chintz fabric swatch repeating part of an original 18th century design for 18th century reenactors, historic home upholstery, and museum interpreters.

Borg Verhildersum Dark Brown
60" wide, $29.95/yd.

Chintz was used to make women's gowns and jacket. The gown or jacket may have a matching petticoat but petticoats were usually not made of chintz unless the upper garment is also of the chintz. Men's Banyan were also made of chintz. Chintz was also used as bed covers and in the late 17th to early 18th century as wall hangings.

For example in The New Jersey Journal of 1781 an ad included "Ran away . . .  a Negro Wench . . .  had on or took with her a dark brown chintz gown" cited in Wenches, Wives and Servant Girls. Black linen thread 80/3 is a good match for hand sewing.

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Waterland Blue
60" wide $29.95/yd.

Waterland is inspired by an antique piece of fabric. Chintz was used to make women's gowns and jacket. The gown or jacket may have a matching petticoat but petticoats were usually not made of chintz unless the upper garment is also of the chintz. Men's Banyan were also made of chintz. Chintz was also used as bed covers and in the late 17th to early 18th century as wall hangings.

For example in The Pennsylvania Packet of 1781 an ad included "Ran away . . .  a Scotch Servant Girl . . .  had on and took away with her . . .  a blue ground chintz short gown". Ivory linen thread is a good match for hand sewing.

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Calico cotton swatch for 18th century reenactors, 18th century interior designs, and historic interpreters.
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Wilhelmina Mauve
60" wide $29.95/yd.

Wilhelmina is reproduced using part of an original 18th century design. Chintz will make a historically accurate women's gown or jacket. The gown or jacket may have a matching petticoat but petticoats were usually not made of chintz unless the upper garment is also of the chintz. Men's Banyan were also made of chintz as were bed covers and in the late 17th to early 18th century wall hangings.

For example in The Pennsylvania Gazette of 1772, "RUN AWAY . . .  a native of Ireland . . .  had on, and took with her, one chints gown, stamped with blue". Ivory linen thread 80/3 is a good match for hand sewing.

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Calico cotton swatch for 18th century reenactors, 18th century interior designs, and historic interpreters.