This exceptional hand-block pattern dates from the ‘roaring 20s’, and the mixture of tropical foliage and ornate pheasants reflects the ‘japonais’ influences that were in vogue. The ornate birds nestle in tropical foliage, inter-twined with bamboo, making this an atmospheric and unusual ‘statement piece’. This complex pattern requires considerable skill to print, and 27 different colours are used with several blocks per colour. There are approximately 200 blocks laid per metre, and the printers have to learn and practice the block positioning and master the multiple fall-ons of colour.
The grandeur of this design is also illustrated by the scale. At a time when most patterns were 24 inches wide, this one designed at 30 inches to retain the imposing proportions of the motifs.At the time this was introduced it would have been produced on fabric just over 30 inches wide, some- thing that is often seen with historical toile patterns. We have now recreated this as a two-over pattern and the cloth width is 61 inches. Think of the practical challenges of the printers leaning into the table and carefully positioning the blocks – a further indication as to the skill, and effort expended in creating this lovely hand-crafted product.