As we arrive at the block printing unit we partner with, we leave the chaos of the city behind and emerge into a lush, green and peaceful oasis. The small unit set up here is divided into several areas dedicated to the dyeing, preparation of cloth and printing areas. The latter house the long, large tables on which the block printing takes place.
Influenced by textile artisans of the Handloom movement of the 1970's Padmini and her mother founded this family-owned block printing group in 1977 with a focus on developing environmentally friendly techniques for dyeing and printing. After several visits to the unit we are happy to have the opportunity to create our own collection with them.
The artisans themselves, from local communities around Bangalore, have been part of the "family" for a while, receiving regular training opportunities to improve their skill. A philosophy of the business is that each artisan, despite having one part of the craft that they are experts on, is encouraged to familiarize themselves with the entire production process. Being familiar with the entire production – from order to final product- creates an environment in which each artisan has a sense of ownership.
As fabric printing techniques change and become more automated and moved to factories, it has become more difficult for family-run craft businesses, such as this one, to survive. We are proud to be able to work with these dedicated artisans and give you the opportunity to own these beautiful hand- made pieces. Knowing that a large part of our cost of product is being directly invested back into the business, we are positive that the unit will continue to thrive.