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Unfolding history with Surface Prints
Ever noticed uncanny similarities between some beautiful floral and geometric patterns on our monuments and the textile surface prints trending? Ever wondered how these prints come alive and speak to us? As usual, our history naturally comes to our rescue.
Usually, when we talk about history in terms of wars fought and technological advancements we attained, we often tend to sideline the sub-culture of fashion and design which developed through those eras, taking new shapes and forms that is reflected on the designs seen on the surface prints. This leaves us; the curious bunch, hanging.
The architectural marvels we see today are shreds of evidence of artists’ expression. It’s not just about who constructed the monument but also, who conceived those intricate patterns and brought them to life. These designs when put in use by the designers in terms of surface textile prints speak volumes to the people. It’s an exchange of art between varied timelines of our history.
Surface Print Design transformation over the years.
Starting with the Regency fashion era back in the 1800s, the European designers made use of Grecian delicate and light embroidery for garment hems, borders of shawls, and sleeve bands. But these patterns didn’t last long due to their simplicity and their unskilled execution. This era also took influences from the Egyptian and Spanish exploits. Jumping a century to 1900s, we find more floral, primitive, and Celtic patterns in use. Interestingly enough, this was a reaction to mass-produced cheap products of industrialized Europe. Names like William Morris and John Ruskin come to mind concerning this fashion movement in England. The goal was to give more hand-made and human feel to the designs. This was beautifully followed by the Art Nouveau artistic style which believed in creating something new rather than imitating historical designs. There was the usage of asymmetrical lines that take the form of flowers, buds; natural objects. The style has its spread within all branches of surface textile prints. The style was dropped in the 1920s but has been revived in various coming timelines. It finally found its popularity as surface patterns in psychedelic fashion, which is timeless.
The roaring 20s aren’t just famous for the growing development in terms of infrastructure and technology but also fashion. The very well known Art Deco movement belongs to this golden era of history. Following and kind of discarding the Art Nouveau movement’s free form of styles, art deco patterns were highly geometric and the surface prints gave a luxurious feel. It celebrated the industrialized world and thus incorporated motifs of gears and cogs and various shapes like cubes, spheres, etc. The organic elements like flowers, twigs, or buds were reduced to mere geometrical designs. The bold repeated motifs and colours defined the art deco designs. Artist Erte; a Russian designer of art deco era designed sets and costumes for movies like Paris, Ben Hur, and Dance Madness. Famous magazines like Vogue and Harper Bazaar worked with him, giving certain credibility to the surface print designs of this movement. Due to its opulence, we can still observe art deco patterns everywhere around us.
Historic influences on Textile Surface Prints
The fashion choices and surface designs became bolder and the colours more contrasting. Mondrian paintings with blocks of primarily red, blue, and yellow in simple geometrical form became an inspiration for designers, architects, and fashion designers. Yves Saint Laurent’s fall collection of 1965 was a Mondrian collection that imbibed features of Mondrian paintings with blocks of black borders. This design is still used by designers all around the world who this buy surface print under the umbrella of the ‘retro is back’ trend.
Minimalism and purism in terms of the pattern also paved its way into people’s hearts back in the 90s and is a timeless look.
The history of surface print design won’t be complete without talking about Paisley shawls and Toile prints. Starting with Paisley Shawls of Indian origins include intricate designs, sometimes overlapping and scattered motifs of vivid colours. These shawls went through a decline with the introduction of cheaper produced skirts but fortunately enough made a comeback with Beatles Indian tour in 1968. The credit of the popularity gained by this design can be given to rise in inclination towards Indian culture and spirituality. The surface textile prints are ever-evolving and something new always comes up in this area. On the other hand, Toile prints by far have the most political influence in terms of their surface prints. With origin in France, the patterns usually included complex vignettes scattered on the base cloth, mostly cotton. From beautiful pastoral scenes to French technological advancements were printed on the fabrics. American and English designers and printers soon started following a similar path. The prints were used to express colonialism, populist themes, and document revolutions.
The Indo-Arabic floral patterns observed in Indian monuments can be majorly seen in surface patterns too. It can be rightly concluded that architecture and fabric patterns complemented each other over several eras and continue to do so.
It remains an intriguing question whether the upcoming future of surface designs would be novel or would it find inspiration from yet to be discovered, historical patterns. With the technological advancements made it has allowed us to create a platform that showcases a variety of trending patterns that have been historically used and new innovative trends as well. Ready Pattern gives the customers a variety of surface prints and they can download surface prints as a click of a button.