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Meet our Indian Artisans

 

All our products are handmade in partnership with a group of independent crafters in Jaipur, India. Sanganeer is a block printing village in Jaipur with a long tradition of artisanal design since the 18th century. Working alongside generations of families at each stage, we aim to develop a sustainable source of income and help maintain and support this beautiful, cultural artform through ethical practices.

 

Block printing is an ancient textile tradition that originated in the Rajasthan Desert region of India. It involves stamping designs onto fabric by hand, using intricately carved wooden blocks. Block printing is a labor-intensive process which requires time, teamwork and a tremendous level of skill. Our artisans excel in their craft and with each print, their deep-rooted history is stamped into the cloth.

 

Carving of woodblock printing textiles

Each block is made with a wooden handle and several small holes, to release air and excess dye. It is soaked in oil for 10-15 days before use to soften the grains of the timber.

Block printing textiles in india

In preparation for printing, the cotton fabric is stretched tightly over the printing tables and fastened with pins to avoid wrinkles and movement.

holly firth block printing for block and print

When printing begins, artisans first print the outline of the design. This is usually done by the most experienced printer, as the outline leads the whole process and must be very precise.

The rest of the team then fills in the colors with the various "fill" blocks.

drying fabrick for block printing

Learn About The Process

The three main tools of traditional block printing are the wooden blocks, the fabric and the dye:

 

Creating the Blocks

The blocks are made from teak wood by trained craftsmen. Designs are then traced onto the surface and carved with a hammer and chisel.

Block printing block for textiles

Colors are mixed in a separate room from the printing. They are then kept on a tray which the printer drags along as he works.

Holly Firth mixing dies for Block printing textiles

Raw fabric is first washed to remove starch and then bleached in a gentle solution.

Once bleached, it is hung up on tall bamboo frames to dry in the hot desert sun.

indian block printing

Once printed, the swaths of fabric are hung to dry in the sun before a final wash.

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