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Printed linen

Printed linen

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    late 14th century-15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Block-printed linen

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Block printing of textiles seems to have come to Europe comparatively late, as there is no evidence that it was practised there earlier than the 14th century. From the little evidence that survives it appears that the industry may have been first introduced into Italy, and then spread into Germany and other neighbouring countries.

This textile, which is part of a border from a hanging, has a design of exotic birds and other motifs in a style which suggests that it may relate to the patterns of woven silks made in Italy at around the same time. However this textile was found in Germany and it seems likely that it was made there.

Linen was very difficult to dye, compared with silk, but as a cheaper material, and with a pattern made by printing a motif repeatedly from woodblocks, it could produce a relatively inexpensive hanging with an interesting design.

Physical description

Printed linen with bird motif

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


late 14th century-15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Block-printed linen


Height: 54.5 cm, Width: 17.8 cm

Descriptive line

Block printed linen with pattern of birds




Block printed

Subjects depicted





Textiles and Fashion Collection

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