The stable background colour that supports the pattern. We say ‘on a white ground, or on a blue ground’. Whatever the design colours are, however complex or simple, the ground colour determines how we think of them.
The colour of the base cloth also affects how the printed pattern is received and what it looks like. For example, the juxtaposition means that the same colour print on a yellow or a white ground will look very different.
Some of the most complex and most interesting printed designs have overlays of pattern on a printed ground; or a simple pattern might become the ‘ground’ that supports the main pattern