C O L L E C T I O N   O N E  -  D A B U

There are different processes used within block printing to give different print finishes. For Collection No.1 we used Dabu, which is a resist printing method.

Firstly, a smooth mud made of black clay and other natural ingredients is mixed, the easiest way to combine it is by using your feet.

Lengths of fabric are pinned to the print bed to hold the fabric straight. Then, the printing block is dipped into the mud and carefully stamped onto the fabric. This is repeated along the length of the fabric, with the printer registering the design by eye.

Above: Birjuji prints a sample of our ‘Stripe’ fabric

A fine sawdust is generously sprinkled onto the wet mud if the print, without it the fabric would sticking to itself, ruining the print.

After laying the fabric out in the sun to dry the mud, the print feels crisp, which means the fabric is ready for dyeing.

Indigo is a natural dye extracted from the plant indigofera tinctoria, it is thought to be one of the oldest fabric dyes. Our Collection No. 1 was indigo dyed in a 12ft indigo vat.

The fabric is slowly pushed into the vat using a wooden stick, until the fabric is full submerged, the areas with the mud resist print will not take on colour. Fabric can be dipped numerous times to build up a darker shade of indigo. On our Bump and Cross prints, the fabric was dabu printed twice and indigo dyed twice to build up the shades of colour on the print.

Above: Deepak dyes a sample of our ‘Stripe’ and ‘Fan’ prints for a second time to get a deeper shade of indigo.

Once dyed, the fabric is laid out on the surrounding land, these areas are referred to as drying fields. Cows will often wander across the fabric, as well as children on bicycles. The sun is important in the process, as it helps fix the dye to the fabric.

After drying the fabric it is ready to be soaked, which will soften the mud resist, before washing.

Our finished fabric is taken to our stitcher-man, Masterji Vikram in Jaipur, to be sewn into shirts.