10 May 2015

Kekfesto fabric

Hungary has a tradition of block-printed blue and white fabric called kekfesto. As the stamping is with wax, followed by indigo dyeing, the fabric is solid blue on the back. Sometimes these fabrics have a different print on each side. 

Hungary had no tradition of patchwork, not till 20 years ago - a rich tradition of embroidery, yes, but "to have a patch on anything was bad", as the organiser of an exhibition of blue and white quilts explains in this short video -

The exhibit was shown at Houston in 2012.

Of course Pinterest has photos of the fabric and the blocks used to print it, and more quilts - here's a selection of the fabrics -
Indigo-dyed, resist printed kekfesto fabrics (via)
Block for wax stamping (via)
The Kovacs family still prints in the traditional way, and has a shop in the "craft village" of Szentendre, which is on the tourist trail -

A translation of the entry from Hungarian Wikipedia is here, with helpful photos of the process ... and a short account of the history is here.
Kekfesto dyer at market, 1976 (via)
And while we're getting "historical", I can't resist adding these old photos to show other Hungarian traditions, the embroidery on felt shepherd's coats and on leather -

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