Original Burgenland Indigo Prints Made by Hand
In former times, indigo print fabrics were used in Burgenland for clothes of everyday life and work. Our company is today one of the last businesses in Europe to use this traditional technique for printing fabrics and dyeing them with indigo.
The term indigo printing is not absolutely correct, as the fabric is not actually printed but rather dyed with indigo. The paste is applied onto the fabric using old wooden printing blocks and washed out again after dyeing.
As a result, a pattern in white appears against a blue background.
Some of our printing blocks are more than 200 years old.
The recipe of the paste is the well-treasured secret of the indigo printer.
Only a small number of written records have survived. Each printer has his own special recipe which is passed from generation to generation. But we can tell you this much: gum arabic and clay belong to the main ingredients.
Once printed, the fabrics (linen, cotton, silk) need to dry for approx.
five weeks before they are dyed.
Depending on the desired intensity of the blue hue, the dyeing procedure may take up to four hours. Water, indigo and lime are the main ingredients of the dye bath.
The dye bath can be used for an entire lifetime. All that is added from time to time is indigo.
Subsequently, the paste is washed out and the fabric is dried in the open air.
Our speciality is making double-sided prints showing a different pattern on each side. These fabrics are handcrafted using an old rotary printing machine.
In the early days, washing laundry used to be an exhausting business. That's why it was very convenient to be able to use both sides of an item.
Aside from preserving tradition, traditional dress, the old patterns and moulds, it is also our concern to keep indigo printing alive in our times.
We consider cooperation with fashion schools and young designers a key element of our work.
In 2010, the Austrian UNESCO Commission inscribed us onto the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria.
The craft of indigo printing is experiencing a new renaissance, which, of course, we find delightful.