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Furnishing fabric

Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Hodge (made)

  • Date:

    1818 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Samuel Matley & Sons (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Roller-printed cotton

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Calico Printers' Association

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 7

Object Type
The pattern of this printed cotton has been created with an engraved metal roller. Roller-printing on textiles had been introduced in the late 18th century, at first mainly for small-patterned dress fabrics. By the time this cotton was printed in about 1818, the technique had been developed for much larger-scale designs, and by the 1830s roller-printing had largely replaced block-printing in the production of fashionable furnishings.

Materials & Making
The development of roller-printing coincided with a radical transformation in the dyestuffs available for printing on cotton. Until the beginning of the 19th century, printing had been based on the use of vegetable dyes. In Britain, France and Germany new chemical processes were developed and mineral colours produced which transformed the palette of colours available to the printer. The green dye used on this cotton was a British discovery, but most innovations were made on the Continent and had to be rediscovered by chemists in British printworks.

This cotton was printed by Matley & Son, a family of calico printers. Samuel Matley had worked at Red Bank and at Scotland Bridge in Manchester before taking over the factory at Hodge near Mottram, Cheshire, in 1805. The firm continued in production there until 1870.

Physical description

Furnishing fabric of roller-printed cotton in yellow, buff and single green. The pattern includes a design of stripes of leaves and flowers on honeycomb ground.

Place of Origin

Hodge (made)


1818 (made)


Samuel Matley & Sons (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Roller-printed cotton


Height: 30.5 cm, Width: 40.6 cm, Height: 12 in, Width: 16 in

Object history note

Ilett's green, patented in 1809, is used.
Printed by Samuel Matley & Son, Hodge, Cheshire

Descriptive line

Furnishing fabric of roller-printed cotton, printed by Samuel Matley & Sons, Hodge, 1818

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Joseph Ilett patented his permanent dye in 1809 'for producing fast greens on cotton'. Before its introduction green was produced by placing blue over yellow. It was one of a number of dyeing innovations based on chemical discoveries made in the early 1800s. [27/03/2003]

Subjects depicted

Leaves; Flowers


ELISE; Textiles; British Galleries; Interiors


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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