Streng gstroaft = strictly striped

Streng gstroaft = strictly striped

From poor man’s clothes to a luxury product

Lisa Niedermayr

Josef Koó, an Austrian blue dyer, was growing up in the environment of the blue print craft right from his childhood. His grandfather had opened an operation in the 1920’s. After the blue print was considered dead, there came a period (since the 1990’s) when its value and use had changed in Austria. Blue print cloths were evidently changing from a commonplace material for working clothes to valuable and refined textiles. In connection with blue print, one could mention the exceptionally popular, frequently printed and sold patterns called streng Gstroafte (strictly striped) as a classic, or bestseller, in central Burgenland. What is characteristic of them are the simple, undistrupted, straight and strict lines, in approximately one centimetre intervals and the zwoara Bleaml (double bloom) in the form of reversible printing.

Another specific feature are the „Lutheran materials“. The white and blue patterns were thought to be too striking, therefore the already printed cloths were dyed anew. It creates motifs with slight colour shades that look moderate, decent and very elegant. Another blue printers family are the Wagners who have had a blue print operation for 130 years. A bestseller of this blue print workshop from the Upper Austrian Bad Leonfelden are refined linen cloths with the patterns of hops, blue cornflower and cereal spikelets.