Sunday, May 29, 2016


In Amana, calico printing was done until 1916. One of the three processes used to print the fabric was roller printing, which took the place of the much slower hand block printing. The rollers were long, thin cylinders with steel pins making a repeat pattern to roll onto prepared fabric. A chemical resistant was coated over the pins of the roller that created the pattern on the white fabric. This acid prevented the dark indigo dye penetration in the resisted area. The opposite was also done in which large pieces of white fabric were dyed indigo, then a chemical resist rolled over it would bleach out the pattern areas to reveal white fabric stars, leaves, moons, or one of over 300 patterns. These methods are known as resist and discharge dyeing. The rollers are very rare and quite an interesting industrial artifact of the old Amana Druekeri or Print Mill.

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