Vintage print fabrics harken back to earlier days and include simple block prints from the 1780s, miniature floral designs from the 1820s, Post-Civil War stripes and paisleys, early 1900s pastoral scenes and Depression Era pastels. As technology changed, an increasing variety of printed patterns emerged in the 1940s and 1950s, leading to the psychedelic colors and patterns of the '60s and '70s, as well as '80s glam.
Between 1775 and 1825, European floral designs and simple block prints in dusky colors were popular. From 1825 to 1865, there were miniature repeating flowers, sometimes combined with geometric patterns or paisleys. From 1865 to 1900, stripes, paisleys, and drowsy flowers came into style, often in muted colors such as madders, brown, pink and green.
From 1900 to 1930, print patterns became cooler in color, making use of blues, grays, reds and blacks. Patterns became smaller and neater, with increasing use of geometric designs. Pastoral scenes outlined in reds or blues were also popular.
From 1930 to 1950, use of pastel colors came into vogue, with Dresden blue, taffy pink, lavender and lime hues. Designs began to get a little more playful, with Scottie dogs, teddy bears, children, stylized flowers and plaids.
From the 1950s to the mid 1980s, colors became more vibrant, with crimson reds, electric blues, bright oranges and greens available in paisleys and polka dots. Floral patterns were still popular, as were playful themes and African tribal patterns. During the later part of this period, animal patterns such as zebra stripes and leopard spots were also widely available. Pink, aqua, and metallic colors became increasingly popular during this time.