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An Indienne, a printed or painted textile in the manner of Indian productions.

Indienne (literally "Indian"), also sometimes called Perse (literally "Persian"), was a type of printed or painted textile, which was manufactured in Europe between the 17th and the 19th century.[1] They were initially imported from India, and received various names such as madras, pékin, gougourans, damas ou cirsacs. The original Indian techniques for textile printing involved long and complicated processes, necessitating the use of mordants or metallic salts to fix the dyes. The beautiful, vibrant, colors, came from the garance plant (madder) for red, indigo for blue and gaude for yellow.[2]

These light and vibrant textiles were extremely popular, and attempts at import substitution started to be made. In 1640, Armenian merchants introduced Indian textile printing techniques at the port of Marseilles. Later England around 1670, and Holland around 1678 would also adopt the technique.[2]

Their importation and production was prohibited through a Royal Ordinance in 1686 in order to protect the local woolen and silk cloth industries.[2] The Indiennes continued to be produced locally despite the heavy prohibition, and were finally legalized again in 1759.[2] In France, the main center for the manufacture of Indienne was Marseille.

These textiles generally use a red dye called madder ("Garance des teinturiers").[1]

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  1. ^ a b McAbe, Ina Baghdiantz (2008). Orientalism in Early Modern France. Oxford: Berg Publishing. p. 223. ISBN 978-1-84520-374-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Printed Textiles from the 18th Century". Musée de l'Impression sur Etoffes, Mulhouse.