Each piece is
Lovingly hand crafted in the Pink City
Block-printing is an ancient traditional craft unique to the Chhipa caste in Jaipur and surrounding areas. A design is drawn directly onto a slab of wood and the pattern etched out using a metal cutter. Some of Indian motifs are amazingly intricate, reflecting the level of skill involved. Lengths of fabric are rolled out and pinned on long trestle tables, ready for printing. The wood block is dipped into the colour tray, carefully applied to the fabric and then repeated. Each stroke requires extreme precision and requires a steady, practiced eye to achieve uniformity. The colours are applied one at a time.
The stitching unit in Jaipur is light and airy. The staff have been there for years and it feels very much like a big family. Employees can take leave whenever they need to. There are often weddings, festivals and personal family matters to attend to. In India it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find people to stich, iron and pack so the managers do everything they can to keep their staff. Wages are well above average and the employees receive sick pay and holiday. They are offered overtime and if they accept they are paid extra. I spend most of my days there when I’m in Jaipur and I feel very thankful to working with this talented and hard working team.
All the embroidered pieces we’ve made are sewn by hand. it’s an intricate, difficult and lengthy process. These skilled embroiderers have an eye for precision and need to remain focused though out. A dress can take three days for them to finish. I watch in awe as I see them work. These rare skills are handed down through generations and represent centuries of history and artistry.
Pink City’s hand-loom fabric is made in villages outside Kolkata. Initially, the cotton is hand-spun and then delivered to the weavers houses where they keep their wooden looms. Each person will weave around 3-4 metres per day. They have the freedom to work when they want.