Floral Echo

A study on block-printing and natural colour mixing derived from the CMYK principle used in printing industry.

Floral Echo contributed to the Textiel Factorij project that retraces the textile trade between India and the Netherlands and it’s influence on the Dutch textile colour, design, motives and patterns in the 17th and 18th century.

By analysing the botanical renderings on the textiles the question appeared if the plants used to dye and paint the textiles — like madder or indigo — are also displayed on the lively arrangements. Partly because of the influence of the Dutch VOC ordering chintz in India, the floral rendering of the textiles changed into fantasy flowers what makes it now impossible to make a ‘flowerguide’ from the textiles.

Inspired by a sampling book and the seam of the Royal Blanket printed by the Kralingse Katoen Maatschappij a system is printed where in natural colours — echos of plants — create a CMYK colour spectrum. It becomes an index of the colours possible to print layer by layer on textile. Something like a testprint for the graphic industry.

Commissioned by Textielfactorij
In collaboration with Els Beusen



* This Royal blanket was a special commission from King Willem I to the Kralingen based printing company Kralingsche Katoenmaatschappij — the continuation of the original cotton printing company Non Plus Ultra — in the period that he wanted to promote trade with the Dutch East Indies and to revive the Dutch industry in 1824 with the establishment of the Nederlandsche Handels Maatschappij (NHM).
** The Royal blanket is in the collection of Museum Twentse Welle. Above a detail of the initials and names of the printers who worked on the bedspread are visible in the bottom edge. Inv.no. MJ 8037.