Comeback vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

Comeback of vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

The amazing thing about long-existing fabric companies is that a few of them still use old archives to get inspired and create new fabrics. As we already showed you how Armani Casa uses the archives of Rubelli to create modern fabrics with old deisgns. (read the post here!) History is the base for new exclusive dessins. How the new takes place the for old, always remembering our history. This is why we thought to write something special about: Comeback vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’ and especially GAUFRAGE! (embossing)

Comeback of vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

Photo’s ©

For Ages

Back in the 17th century, there were common techniques for using embossing materials. Such as hot pressing on leather to create beautiful ‘reliefs’. Later in the 19th century they came up with the idea to press or weave these ‘dessins’ on to velour fabrics. How? Basically they created cylinders with dessins, heat it, and pressing the hot cylinder on the fabric. Up to 40 tons of pressure, depending on the kind of material and ‘look’ you want to give it. ( This vintage technique is called in French ‘gaufrage’, embossing.

Comeback of vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

Photo left © // Photo right © Fadini Borghi

The fabric above is a piece of the beautiful Fadini Borghi collection and is not pressed but woven. In the following pictures you’ll discover what true gaufrage is!

Comeback of vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

Photo’s © Ethnic Chic

The comeback

We see that the ‘gaufrage’ technique for fabrics is making a comeback. Just to create a unique feeling to plain fabrics so they will gain more creativity and stand out. Combining astonishing plain fabrics with some old, but also new designs, give this ‘tone-on-tone’ look which you can never get enough of. After the embossing technique a new dimension is given to the fabric which will give the fabric more depth. Not only, velet but also silk or linen are interesting for gaufrage. Don’t forget to read the Mohair post as this is one of the oldest fabrics where gaufrage is used on!

Comeback of vintage finishing techniques for fabric ‘dessins’

Photo’s left © Ethnic Chic // Photo’s right ©

The subdued dessin of gaufrage

The subtile look and subdued dessins are a beautiful result of the vintage technique. Let’s all hope it will never fade away for interior fabrics…

Soon we will post something about 1 very unique family in France who managed to get a ‘hold’ on many of the old and special ‘gaufrage’ rolls.

The linen fabrics of Pierre Frey in the pictures above are a good example of gaufrage in a subtile way. You can hardly recognize the embossing. These days, gaufrage is not standard for fabrics, but only on request. A very exclusive way to give your fabric more personality!

Finishing techniques for fabric, Posted by Ethnic Chic


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