Faculty of Design
Research Laboratory of Blue Table-Cloths

In 2010 a scientific-research laboratory of blue cloths was established at Apolon Kutateladze Tbilisi State Academy of Arts by initiative of Tinatin Kldiashvili and Ketevan Kavtaradze, Professors of the Faculty of Design. The laboratory restored Georgian tradition of patterned cloth printing lost in XX century. Samples of the oldest patterned cloths are dating back to XVI century and are preserved in the Fund of National Museum of Georgia.
In the Research Laboratory they print blue tablecloths, napkins and head-dresses by traditional cold cube dyeing method, as well as modern photophilous printing. Blue tablecloths are made of cotton and silk fabric. The traditional ornamental motifs, common compositional schemes are placed in various sizes and shapes by stencils created according to samples of the old patterns. There are tablecloths of standard square, prolonged rectangle shapes, as well as the so-called “Table” tablecloths (from 220x140 cm to 110x80 cm.) and small-sized napkins (50X50cm).

As it is well known, blue tablecloths were laid in special cases (weddings, hunting, ritual feasts, religious holidays, etc.) and it was used by all classes of society. Since ancient times tablecloths depicted ornaments (plant, animal motifs, table attributes – knives, forks, eastern ornaments, garlands, etc.), symbols that were loaded by deep ritual sense common in the ethnographic culture. Therefore it seems possible that these cloths except aesthetic purpose had also a ritual purpose and occupied a special place in Georgian way of life during centuries.
The Research Laboratory set up on the basis of the Faculty of Design in the Academy of Arts contributes to reconstruction and development of one of traditional fields (artistic textile) of Georgian ethnographic culture, students’ involvement in the working process, which makes possible preservation of cultural heritage.