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Blueprint manufacture | Textile

Keywords: Blueprint, pap, indiga

Blueprint manufacture

Title: Blueprint manufacture
Category: Textile
Country: Slovakia
Period: XX Century
Provided by: Comenius
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The history of origin in Slovakia dates back to the 18th century, especially in areas around Orava and Spiš, where the cloth was used and the main production material was canvas.

Blueprint has become an important part of the folk clothing. The fabric used, did not have to be wash frequently and it was not costly, because the print on it was cheap.

The blueprint dyeing technique was applied mainly to the canvas, but other substances were used later, e.g. cotton. The patterns on the fabric were hand painted, but later a wooden or metal stamp was used.

Firstly, the canvas was boiled in water, where calcium hydroxide and soda were added. Later, the cloth was washed in sulfuric acid diluted with water and rinsed in running water. After drying, starching and calendaring, the canvas was ready to print patterns and for colouring. A cover blend, called pap, was used for suppressing, which was applied to the blueprint form. The mentioned form was soaked in a container of pap and then applied to the canvas. After the cover blend had dried, the canvas in parallel folds was hung on an iron structure and immersed for 20-30 minutes into a cold colouring mixture. The basic component in it was indigo. The whole canvas was colored, except for the places where pap was put, which indigo did not accept. The soaking process was repeated several times, because then the colour was darker. After staining, the fabric was placed in a weak sulfuric acid solution to remove the pap and a white pattern formed on a dark blue background.

The use of blueprints was versatile, for example sewing skirts, making blankets, bedding, scarves, aprons, tablecloths, curtains and many more.