With a deep family history of masterful printing since the 1500's, the sustainable and ethical tradition of block printing is kept alive at this special printing workshop located in the westernmost part of the state of Gujarat in western India.
Using our own hand-carved block design, we used a mud resist technique in which the pattern is blocked out by the mud, called Multani, then dyed and washed revealing the final pattern. The completely manual and labor intensive process results in an overall pattern that is repetitive yet random.
The dyes used are natural. The fabric is initially sprayed with a layer of pomegranate dye. To create the pomegranate dye, the fruits’ skins are dried, boiled and fermented with water. Once applied, the fabric is left to dry in the hot desert sun. An application of turmeric is applied next and left to dry once again.
The fabric is then washed in a series of small cement pools. There is a particular washing technique involving twisting, swinging and slapping the fabric against the cement wall. This is repeated several times until the water achieves clarity; assuring that the mud and dye are fully rinsed off. The textile is then laid out for a final bake in the sun, turning from a bright red color to the desired turmeric hued yellow.
What is more unique to our choice of design is that the overall pattern on the finished textile is dependent upon the artist who works with the blocks. It is a repetitive yet random design, alternating between two blocks, that can be applied in a multitude of ways. What makes the finished product so special is that no yard is the same as the other.
Videographer: Rahul Jain