I once had the great pleasure to visit a block printing factory just outside Jaipur. It was a blisteringly hot day and we drove from the hotel in a lovely old cream Ambassador car with shiny red leather seats and of course no seat belts. When we arrived, there were monkeys sitting on top of the wall with their long tails hanging down, looking at me in the same way that a human would when a stranger had just arrived in their sleepy village.
I was shown the whole process from the carving of the wooden blocks, to the actual printing of long lengths of cotton fabric on huge tables. The wonderful thing about block printing is the fact that it can’t be mass produced. It is a human process and therefore, it is a flawed process, there are always imperfections which completely add to the beauty of the finished product.
I once designed for a big high street company who were desperate to produce a range of block printed clothes for their summer range. They couldn’t reconcile themselves with the fact that there would be variation in each piece and they worried that the customer wouldn’t understand, thinking the goods were faulty. In the end they cancelled the development, I always thought they had somewhat missed the point!
Here are some lovely pieces from Etsy
you can find this fabric for sale at The Delhi Store, here
This sweet block printed bag is from Charan Creations, you can find it here
you can find this quilt at Roopantaran, here