Spring/Summer 2023 –– Kutch is a rare and unusual place in a somewhat remote location on the northwesternmost part of the Indian coast. As a native state for four hundred years and now a part of Gujarat, Kutch is renowned for its preservation of the culture of its nomadic peoples and the special character of its arts.
Today Kutch retains a vibrant individuality and character that is resistant to modernization. Bhuj, the former capital of Kutch, remains largely a walled town free from auto traffic, where traditional crafts are sold and where craftsmen can still be seen working on their products. In the villages and nomadic camps throughout Kutch, one can still see the rich influence of design and craft traditions – in architecture, everyday objects and dress. Kutch is a region that is isolated in location yet is also a hub for cross-cultural exchanges that gets expressed through its vibrant crafts.
Taking roots in Kutch and its history of crafts, our collection ranges from the extra weft weaving on the peddle loom, to print and resist dyed technique of Bandhani and Ajrakh printing. A focus on following traditional and sustainable craft practices has led us to build this collection that was inspired by Kutch’s diverse landscape and its deep history as a port of trade.
Some of the crafts that we have explored ––
Ajrakh Printing –– A majority of our printed textiles have also been created in Kutch. Named after the city Ajrakhpur, Ajrakh printing is a traditional hand block printing technique that uses a traditional 26-step block printing process. Practiced by the Khatri community in Kutch and some of the neighboring regions, the printing technique incorporates a combination of resist dyeing and printing which then creates beautifully patterned fabrics. The printing technique is generally laborious and involves multiple steps starting from preparation of the fabric for printing to resisting the fabric through block printing and subsequent dyeing and finishing processes. Traditionally worn by Khatri men all over Kutch as a blue bandana scarf, the craft has now grown to offer a diverse range of products.