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Museum of Blue Dyeing - Pápa
Museum of Blue Dyeing
Address: 8500, Pápa Március 15. tér 12.
Phone number: (89) 324-390
Opening hours: 01.11-31.03.: Tue-Sat 9-16
01.04-31.10.: Tue-Sun 9-17
In the second half of the 18th century, countries west of Hungary suffered from an overabundance of skilled laborers in the textile and dyeing industry. For this reason, individuals and entire families migrated to Hungary, thereby increasing the numbers of masters in the textile profession. Thus the ancestors of the Kluge family came to Hungary from Sorau in Saxony (Zary, Poland) bringing the new technology of textile printing with them, which was the reserve style cold indigo vat dyeing. Up until the middle of the 19th century, this kind of textile dyeing was called "Schön- und Schwarzfärber". This also means that while the "Schönfärber" was doing "Beauty-dyeing", cloth and linen dyeing, the "Schwarzfärber" was usually practising black dyeing.

The Eastern indigo reserve style was also appearing in the above mentioned areas at the beginning of the 18th century featuring the dyeing material, the indigo, which was providing the blue colour. Printing paste was applied to the printing which was protecting the basic white colour of the textile from turning blue. After several dips in the dye vats (küpa) and then after aeration due to the oxidation the reduced indigo began graduating the cotton and the linen clothes into blue. After dyeing the printing paste was taken off by a bath of hydrochloride-vitriolic acid and the basic white colour appeared. This blue and white colour was typical of the Eastern porcelains; therefore this new technology was called "Porcellandruck" by the dyers with the phrase "drucken auf Porcellan Art".

To dye the blue colour woad (Waid, Isatis tinctoria) was applied since the Middle Ages. It was grown in sizes of field lands by the peasants and lords of the provinces Thuringia and the French Picardy. At the beginning the more colour-proof indigo was used to repair woad, later the latter became dominant in the 19th century.

Johann Friedrich Kluge settled in Sárvár and joined in 1777 the main guild of Pozsony. His son Friedrich Kluge, established his own workshop in Sárvár in 1783 after finishing his journeyman trip. Later, in 1786, he moved to Pápa with his family. The workshop became stronger and stronger. Instead of the apartment and store on the ground floor with an arch, a majestically appearing, multi-store house was built in eclectic style 1869.

In Europe, at the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century, in order to fasten the textile printing the use of roller print machines was also experimented but because of its high cost it did not become general in the smaller factories. Paralelly, the Perrotine machines (printing periodically) were coming out, first operated by hand, and later, with the penetration of the steam machines, operated mechanically. There were 6 indigo reserve dyeing workshops operating in Pápa around 1865. The strongest one was the Kluge factory. The boom of the economy, the industry, and the increasing of the trade in the middle and second part of the 19th century was motivating even the Kluge Company of Pápa to increase the capacity and to start the modernization. That was how the old dyeing room, the "küpa" room, was enlarged with the construction of 12 dyeing vats as a new factory building on the side of the brook in 1880. The printing room for the traditional handprinting, the laboratory, and next to it the hand operated, wooden framed Perrotine machine could be found on the first floor. This equipment which made it possible to produce mass production required both the usage of printing blocks with new small patterns and that of printing blocks based on the old patterns. By the time of the 100th anniversary of the factory in 1883, the production developed to a level that could compete with the "Blaudruck-Färberei" factory, one of the leading companies of Transdanubia's factories. A masterpiece, a 12-person, 5-colour-print table-cloth was made for this event. The next enlargement of the factory was built over the brook on the turn of the 19-20th century. The 23-horsepower steam engine, the mangle which was operated by it, the starching machines, the drying machine, the steam heated rolls, on which the light material was prepared were located in the long one-floor building. They had a separate room for polishing. It was running at full capacity up until World War I. At this time, a group photo of the employees was taken, with 22 men, 3 servants, 24 sales persons and Károly Kluge with his family (1912).

World War II set production back to the level of manual work because of the lack of raw materials. Seven generations continued to develop the enterprise until 1956 when the government took control of the factory. The buildings and the machines received protection by being given the status of historical monuments.

The Museum of Blue Dyeing was renovated in 1983 on the 200th anniversary of the Kluge factory.
Permanent exhibitions
A taste of the exhibition
The Kluge family realized the importance of mechanization in the textile industry. In the 1880s the family improved productivity of indigo printing by building a large workshop to accommodate all-season dyeing and drying of the cloth. Before that time, indigo printing was a seasonal industry because it was not possible to successfully dry the fabric in winter. continue
A taste of the exhibition
Irén Bódy graduated from the Collage majoring in textile pressing in 1952 before she began working as a designer for a factory where she spent ten years. continue
The task and purpose of the Blueprint Museum is to maintain the blueprinting craft and traditions, as well as to collect and exhibit its objective relics. That is why we visited the blueprint workshops still in function between 1984 and 1989. We arranged regular trade conferences and demonstrated these workshops to the visitors continue