India has been well-known for its printed and dyed cotton cloth since the 12th century. Block printing is a long time tradition of the Jaipur region and it provides meaningful work to many people. Of the 32 artisans working at the studio that produces our block printed textiles, most have been working there for up to 20 years. Master block-printers take years to hone their craft, passing skills down to younger generations.
Every artisan involved in the process is an expert in his or her area. It takes a team of skilled pigment mixers, dyers, dryers, carvers and printers to complete a single product. Once the design is hand-drawn, it’s traced onto a wooden block in preparation for carving. Separate blocks need to be carved by hand for each part of the design. The cotton to be printed is stretched out on a long table. The paint is expertly mixed and blocks are dipped by hand, then pressed onto the fabric. Using guidelines, repeats are lined up and printed until the fabric is finished. This process is repeated for each new color in the design. The uniqueness of the pattern in color and tone comes from the pressure applied by each artisan hands as they press the block into the fabric. We love these quilts because of their bright summer hues, their incredible softness, and their connection to the conservation of traditional Indian craft techniques.