Determining the country of origin of this type of resist-printed and indigo-dyed furnishing fabric, found in abundance in American museums with major textile collections, has frustrated several generations of textile historians. Part of the mystery is that while English manufacturers were the source of many of the textiles imported to North America in the eighteenth century, no examples of this type of blue-resist fabric are found in English collections. Resist dyeing with indigo was common in India as early as the thirteenth century. Evidence found in the records of eighteenth-century American merchants implies that these textiles—with their loosely spun, all-cotton, Indian base fabric—were also printed in India, commissioned by the English East India Company specifically for the American market.
Artist: Lockwood de Forest (American, New York 1850–1932 Santa Barbara, California)Date: ca. 1885Medium: Mahogany, teak, satinwood, copper, silk, cotton, and coralAccession: 2016.49On view in:Gallery 746