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

An 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 textiles 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]

From the 17th century however, their importation and production was prohited, in order to protect the local woolen and silk cloth industries, through a Royal Ordinance in 1686.[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 maufacture of Indienne was Marseille.

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

See also


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  • Baghdiantz McAbe, Ina 2008 Orientalism in Early Modern France, ISBN 9781845203740, Berg Publishing, Oxford
de:Indiennes fr:Indienne (tissus)
  1. 1.0 1.1 McCabe, p.223
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Musée de l'Impression sur Etoffes, Mulhouse