Sunday, March 29, 2009

Document & Reproduction: Hartfield "Meryton"

The document print is the original print on which a reproduction is based. For the "Meryton" reproduction print in my Hartfield collection (the ivory print on the left) the document print is a piece of antique fabric that may have been a ruffle for a chair. I have a piece big enough that you can still see the selvage edge. There are a few unintelligible letters and several numbers on that very wide selvage.

The document print looks to be a combination roller/wood block print. The background is what was called a fancy machine ground, printed by a copper roller finely incised with pattern. The feathery leaves seem to be more colored shapes than line so I am guessing they were applied with a wood block, possibly a wood block with some wires inserted to print those outlines. The original print might be about 1800 or so because of that fancy machine ground background, but I'd guess not too much later. Notice the break---a wrinkle in the roller--- in the ground pattern that isn't reflected in the leaf pattern, an indication they were printed at different times.

If you'd like to learn more about early prints you'll want to subscribe to my e-club at C&T Publishing, "Barbara Brackman's Clues in the Calico". Each month you get online information about an early print style plus a pattern for a traditional medallion border or two. Click here for more information CluesintheCalico.com.


  1. Hello! It's nice to see that another of my favorite MODA designers has a blog. I'm always interested in all of the designer ideas and why you choose to do certain prints and colors and how you come up with the patterns. Some of my other favorites are Kansas Troubles, 3 Sisters, Minick and Simpson, and Blackbird Designs. (I also do counted cross stitch). It will be fun to get to know you!

  2. Hi, I am a lover of repro fabrics too.
    I am half way through constructing a DJ quilt, an Apple core and a Tumbler...just finished a CW quilt by "Patchwork on Stonleigh" here in Australia...no website unfortunately..
    I look forward to visiting your blog more often..