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Two silk ribbon samples

Key data

Basle, ca. 1913

Silk warp threads, printed with coloured inks, width 22.5 cm each, in a pattern book

height 48 cm, width 36 cm, depth 8.5 cm

Inv. 1981.539.109.


After the collapse of traditional silk ribbon weaving, only a few Basle ribbon manufacturers experimented with silk ribbons in unconventional techniques. Silk thread, which was often as expensive as gold, could not, for reasons of cost, be added on to the main weft to make a pattern in the brocading method. But in the first 30 years of the C20 successful experiments were made in which multi-coloured designs were printed on to the unwoven, provisionally secured warp threads. When these were woven a watercolour like effect was achieved. At the same time, by this means, the manufacturers were able to avoid sinking to the level of printing on white ribbon, a method despised in Basle. Sometimes the designs reflected modern art, provoking the cry: "Cubist! Cubist!", as has been written beside these two samples.

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