Vintage Faux Ikat cushion, Uzbekistan

120,00 incl. VAT

In addition to hand-made textiles, printed fabrics also play an important role in Uzbekistan. During the “Great Game”, the economic and strategic race between colonial powers for supremacy in Central Asia, the British Empire tried to gain a foothold in the Central Asian market by exporting printed fabrics, which were very popular due to superior quality and competitive prices. When Russia won the race for Central Asia, English textiles were largely replaced by industrial goods from Russia. These colourful, predominantly psychedelic-looking prints also managed to displace woodblock prints, which had been used on many textiles until the end of the 19th century. Central Asia became an important outlet for Russian textiles. With their chintz and printed textiles, the Russians managed to carve out a niche for themselves between expensive domestic silks and velvets, and the much cheaper adras fabrics and block prints. Russian roller-printed fabrics were used all the time and everywhere. For lining chapans and making dresses, blankets or even mattresses, Russian floral prints or uzbek faux ikat designs were as much a part of Central Asia as sun and tea.

The small Uzbek factories which were developed in the 1920s and printed fabrics à la russe, produced textiles of such poor quality that they could not compete with imported fabrics from Russia. This is why relatively few printed textiles were produced between 1920 and 1940. After the Second World War, things were changing and the quality got better and better. The Faux Ikat prints were very popular in the 1960/70. As the wild floral prints they were also influenced by Oriental escapism and the principle: more is more. Today it’s hard to tell which textiles were produced in Russian and which ones in Central Asian factories, as the designs are often identical. At any rate, Uzbeks managed to integrate Russian printed textiles so they had spiritual as well as aesthetical meaning – much to the delight of the Russian textile industry and its merchants.

Size: 65 x 65

100 % Cotton, original backing, made from an old blanket

Read more about the printed textiles from Central Asia 

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