From Fhygge we wanted to remember the old times rescuing the colorful old fabrics damask style, geometric that mostly covered the mattresses of your relatives in the past, we are sure that if you ask your grandparents they will remember.
We wanted to give a tribute to the decoration that is so fashionable this that has to do with giving a second life to furniture, fabrics, using recycled materials. But before we get into this process of how they have been created, a little history.
The area of Igualada was the most important pioneer in the textile weaving sector, there are data that verify that since 1282 there were already factories for weaving wool, which were hand-spun in the farmhouses and it was one of the most practiced tasks in these towns.
Around 1800, with the arrival of the industrial era, devices such as the well-known mule-jenny, capable of spinning up to 8 spindles, began to appear, and little by little, thanks to innovations, the factories were updated and were able to create loom processes, although technically more complicated but more economical. Jacquard was the most commonly used, however, a fabric that at that time was a complicated specialty and, even now, jacquard machines are very expensive. The high quality “mattress fabrics” made in Igualada spread all over Spain, Morocco and South America, both in Argentina and in the former colonies.
FROM THE DRAWING TO THE LOOM
Until a fabric was woven on a jacquard loom, there was a long and laborious artistic and technical process. First, the industrial fabric draftsman, trained in an Arts and Crafts school, would fix the idea of the design on paper, usually colored in watercolor. This drawing had to maintain the real dimensions and proportions that the future fabric would have. When the draughtsman had made this first drawing, he had to pass it to the drawing on the chart.
The setting on card was the intermediate process between the original design and the cut cardboard that allowed, through a technical reading, the representation of the drawing in the weaving phase, that is to say, to a mechanical language indispensable for its correct execution on the loom.
The transfer of the drawing was carried out on a special paper, gridded. These grids express the relationship between the density of the warp and the weft. Counting the number of threads and passes per centimeter, a proportion was made to find the appropriate paper: 10 in 12, 12 in 12….
The drawing was then transferred to the grid, which was enlarged proportionally to the number of threads (even to the point of four meter-long charts). On the other hand, the drawing was outlined and the colored paint was applied to the gouache or guaix. Each shade of color represented a certain set of threads that corresponded to that of the fabrics. The presence of the same color in different parts of the clutch always indicated the same type of ligament. Most clutches were of one or two colors.
When the cardboard was ready, the cardboard was punched. In the early years, the process was manual, using dies and punches. Later, mechanical systems were used.
Each drawing and carding was specific to the type of fabric to be used. Cotton, silk, linen, wool or worsted were the fabrics in which the jacquard technique was most applied. In Igualada, the factories of Bonaventura Martí, Ca l’Ortínez, Cal Font and Oleguer Godó worked with cotton to make quilts, bedspreads, sheets, table sets and cutis (fabrics for mattresses). Other companies were Cal Truco or Cuadras Barral.
RESCUING THE FABRICS
You have already read that they had a very laborious process and we think it is a shame that these fabrics are abandoned in oblivion. So from Marta’s workshop in Igualada we wanted to give them a second life.
It is not easy to find these mattresses or fabrics since most factories are closed and we assure you that there is an exhaustive search behind them.
Then comes a second phase that as they usually come from mattresses is time to cut, rescue the fabric, remove what is not useful and wash it well. To give you an idea, for each mattress can leave between 5-8 cushions. Therefore they are very small collections and unique pieces come out.
And finally they go to the workshop to be sewn and create these wonderful cushions with these fabrics that are reused and recycled from the nineteenth century.
Hope you like it!