All our hand block printed homewares are created for us by two small family businesses in Jaipur and Bagru in Rajasthan. Both have been using traditional block printing methods to create their perfectly imperfect textiles for three generations and this traditional printing on fabric has been practiced in this area for over 300 years. The labour intensive process involves making intricately carved wooden blocks, used to create the world renowned textile designs, which reflect the region's nature in floral leaf and geometric motifs. The designs are initially drawn on to paper and are then transferred on to the blocks. Hereditary carvers squat in tiny home studios and chisel the designs on to teak or sheesham wood. Master block printers move along long tables, covered in plain cotton fabric, methodically dipping their blocks in to the colourful natural plant dyes and stamp the cloth with a rhythmical 'thump thump' of the hand. Combinations of mordant and resist stamping and dyeing allows the printers to create the complex designs for which they are renowned. The beautiful slight imperfections in the printing process are the telltale signs of the master craftsman's eye and the human hand: this is an ancient craft, rethought and adapted for the 21st Century.
Once printed, the washing of the lengths of fabric is carefully carried out by the dhobi, standing waist deep in water baths and when washing is complete, the fabric lengths hang out to dry from the rooftops, or from huge wooden frames, under the hot Indian sun.
This is a craft and culture still very much built around communities. And it has been our pleasure to visit, work with and support these communities, in a very small way, for the past 10 years.