Resist Block Printing and Indigo Dyeing

Resist Block Printing and Indigo Dyeing

The resist block printing and indigo dyeing methods were inscribed in the representative list of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2018, based on a joint request by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Hungary.

Indigo dyeing of textiles has become an example of craft and folk art that took root in five Central European countries despite their different languages and cultures. The method has been used since the 18th century, and some wooden blocks are almost 300 years old, used by a seventh generation of printers. The fabric is printed with a special mixture that protects it from dyeing when in the indigo dyeing beck, or vat. When the protective mixture is removed, the pattern in the original fabric colour stands out against the blue foundation formed by various levels of dye saturation.  
If you would like to see the process of indigo dyeing for yourselves, you can visit two family indigo dyeing manufacturers: Modrotisk Danzinger in Olešnice or Arimo in Strážnice.

Strážnice Indigo Dyeing

The indigo dyeing workshop in Strážnice in Slovácko has been operating for more than a century. It was founded by the Joch family in 1906. It is open year-round, and in addition to the workshope, there is also a shop where you can purchase calendars, aprons, pot-holders, scarves, bags, and other items, as well as indigo-dyed clothes and accessories, or even fabric for your own work.

Danzinger Indigo Dyeing Manufacture

Blue flax used to be a common crop in the area surrounding Olešnice in South Moravia, and so there used to be a weaving loom in almost every house and nearly the same number of dyers. The original workshop of the Danzinger family, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century, has been preserved there they still perform the indigo dyeing process by hand, using original wooden printing blocks and following historical formulas. The Danzingers will be happy to explain the indigo dyeing process and to demonstrate the application of patterns using the manually carved blocks, the dyeing process using becks full of natural blue indigo dyes, as well as the subsequent drying process. The tour takes about fifty minutes, and the workshop is open from May to the end of September.