blau druck – blue printing

January 6, 2012

Back in August we spent a little over a week in Northern Germany touring the coastline, countryside and the towns and villages in between with my spouse and his parents. One of my favourite towns we took a stroll through was Jever, a historic town that is home to a well known beer that shares the town’s name.

Besides beer, Jever has a lovely castle, and many cobble stone streets lined with great shops. One of the shops that we made the trip for is Blau Druck, a traditional blue print studio and shop.

Blue printing is a traditional block printing process which is done by hand. The patterns are carved onto wood models; the models are dipped into a blue print substance that acts as a protective reverse for the pattern. The pattern is hand printed onto fabrics with the printing models (blocks). The printed fabrics are then dipped into vats of blue indigo dye. Once dipped in the blue dye the hand printed patterns appear in white against the gorgeous indigo blue.

It is a dying art and this studio is doing its best to preserve the craft and the historic 400 year old patterns and recipes used for creating blue print textiles.

When we stopped in for a visit the printer was busy printing fabrics and he allowed me to take photographs of his work and the goods for sale in the shop.

400 year old patterns are carved onto models.
Above is the material used for printing the patterns.
The printer at work blue printing on fabric.
Toss pillows made from blue printed fabrics.

If you ever have a chance to visit Northern Germany I do suggest you pay a visit to Jever and the Blau Drunk studio.

  • Eek, I was born and raised in a town about 30 minutes away from Jever! (we moved when I was 10) This feels like coming home. And I just love when traditional arts are still alive like that. You captured it beautifully.