Fabric printing has a long history and evidence of printed and patterned textiles has been discovered dating back to Ancient India, Greece and China, with printing techniques thought to have been passed down through generations of families as far back as 2000 BC in India.

The Patterned Dress Revolution

It was only during the 17th century that printed dresses really became popular in Europe with the East India Company bringing materials and fabrics to England, France and the rest of Europe. Around 1640, Armenian traders brought the actual techniques from India to France, and by the end of the 17th century cottons and calicoes were being printed in England to create fashionable clothing including the ever popular print dress.

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printed-dresses

As Time Progressed and Fashions Changed

Printed dresses were an instant hit and as time passed and printing methods became increasingly versatile and intricate, some of the most marvellous patterns were created and made into fashionable dresses. In more modern times designers saw that the massive appeal of the print dress was unlikely to wane and patterns were used in haute couture and high fashion. In the 1960′s, textile designers such as Celia Birtwell and Zandra Rhodes caused another rise in the demand for patterned dresses and others such as Biba and Mary Quant used designs such as monochrome, daisy and floral, and paisley in ever more innovative and inspired ways.

A Fashion Staple

The print dress was at the forefront of many major haute couture collections with certain designers such as Gianni Versace and Christian Lacroix showing a real flair for this medium. Fabric designers today such as Orla Keily and Cath Kidston see their designs made into beautiful dresses in a range of styles. Print frocks are a fashion favourite and exciting use of colour and texture has seen a new surge of ideas at the forefront of textile design. Recently, Dita Von Teese was photographed in a fabulous 3D printed creation, designed for her by Michael Schmidt and made using a technique called selective laser sintering, or SLS, where the print was built up over several layers. With print techniques evolving and changing daily, and with the garment a firm favourite from the high street to the catwalk, the print dress looks like it’s here to stay for another few thousand years.

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Fabric printing has a long history and evidence of printed and patterned textiles has been discovered dating back to Ancient India, Greece and China, with printing techniques thought to have been passed down through generations of families as far back as 2000 BC in India. The Patterned Dress Revolution It was...