All of our prints are done using hand block printing, the earliest, simplest and slowest of all textile printing methods. Employees at the block printer we currently work with are paid 170% - 579% higher than the India minimum wage, have health insurance, paid leave, and an option for profit sharing.
The tradition of block printing in India dates back over many hundreds of years. The technique begins with an artisan who hand carves each design into a block of wood. For each color of the pattern, a different block is needed.
Once the fabric is washed and ready, printing begins. Dipping the carved block in the dye color and then expertly stamping the fabric, one block at a time, until the pattern is complete on the yardage.
Resist printing is when we print with dabu, a mud mixture of clay, wheat flowers, guar gum, and lime, which is then covered with sawdust and laid in the sun to dry before submerging the fabric in a dye bath. Once dyed and washed, the dabu comes off and the design shows through.
Once finished with printing and dying, the fabric is boiled, washed, and is dried by the desert sun.
We print our yardage with a woman operated block printing unit located in the southern state of Karnataka and our Wayfarer scarves are block printed in Rajasthan.
The hand block printing technique employees a much higher percentage of people due to all the necessary steps and skills. No electricity is used and we only print what is needed which reduces wastage.