Kim Siebenhüner

Knowledge and the art of dyeing in the Swiss Indienne industry in the 18th century


Ferrum 90/2018 

Calico printing, which draws on innovative dyeing techniques adopted mainly from craftsmen in India, gained prominence in Europe at the end of the 17th century. Taking the Swiss calico printer as an example, the article delves into the question of the pathways along which knowledge of the new techniques was disseminated and adopted. It focuses on the practices and debates surrounding Indienne printing in the knowledge culture of the 18th century, when technical and scholarly knowledge overlapped and complemented each other; it also shows the importance of testing and commercialization of recipes for learning the new dyeing techniques.


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