Our journey started with a trip to the dunes of Rajasthan, which turned into an adventurous play of art, craft and color. This is where our love for Indian textiles developed. We aim at giving a modern take on artisanal techniques.
Our first collection deals with the art of hand block printing which is indigenous to the area of Sanganer, this is where our production takes place. The blocks have been carved on teak wood as per our designs. The fluidity of our colors merge well with our contemporary aesthetics. All of our products are hand stitched.
We have used 100% certified organic cotton. The airy feel of cotton makes our products breathable, allergy free and the perfect material to snuggle into!
Crafted with Love,
Natasha & Ankieta
The village of Sanganer near Jaipur has been a major center for very fine block carving, and printing. Almost 500 years old, Sanganeri printing gained high popularity in the 16th, and 17th centuries when it became one of the major exporters of the East India Company. Sober, low toned colors and delicate lines, creating finer designs, usually against a white background, are well known characteristic of fabrics that are printed at Sanganer.
The process of doing block printing flourished since the 12th century. The constant wars between the Mughals, and Marathas caused several craftsmen to migrate from Gujarat to Rajasthan. In earlier times, the Royal Families of Jaipur were the chief patron of the craft. Unique prints would be created for a particular festival, or event, which could only be used by the Royal Family. Post Independence, the craft almost died till it was revived in the 70s owing to the cottage industry movement in India.
Hand block locally called buntas or buntis are made of wood, and, generally rectangular in size. The type of wood most preferred is Teak (Tectona-Grandis-Linn) as they are light in weight. Once the designs are selected local craftsman known as kharaudis prepares the blocks for printing. Before the blocks are used for printing they are kept immersed in mustard oil for a period of 10-15 days, this softens the grains in the timber. Each block has a wooden handle and two to three cylindrical holes drilled into the block for free air passage and also to allow release of excess printing paste. These blocks sometimes have metal over the wood.
The fabric requires a pre-printing treatment where the fabric to be printed is washed free of starch and soft bleached if the natural grey of the fabric is not desired. The fabric is then stretched over the printing table and fastened with small pins. The block printer pushes along small wooden trolleys with racks that have castor wheels fastened to their legs to facilitate free movement as he works. On the upper most shelf trays of dye are placed. On the lower shelves printing blocks are kept ready.
The printing starts form left to right. The color is evened out in the tray with a wedge of wood. When the block is applied to the fabric, it is slammed hard with the fist on the back of the handle so that a good impression may register. A point on the block serves as a guide for the repeat impression, so that the whole effect is continuous and not disjoined. The outline printer is usually an expert because he is the one who leads the process. If it is a multiple color design the second printer dips his block in color again using the point or guide for a perfect registration to fill in the color. The third color if existent follows likewise. Skill is necessary for good printing since the colors need to dovetail into the design to make it a composite whole. A single color design can be executed faster, a double color takes more time and multiple color design would mean additional labor and more color consumption.