The Art of Sustainable Fabric Design in Handblock Print
A fabric that has been meticulously decorated with traditional handblock print has a unique quality. Unique in its beautiful imperfections. The intricate patterns speak to the artisan's talent, patience, and precision in making such genuine fabric art. Each piece of women's clothing made from these beautiful handblock print fabrics here at SootiSyahi is a delight to wear.
What is Handblock Print, and How Does it Work?
This is a centuries-old printing method for textiles and paper that originated in India and is still practised by SootiSyahi to keep the art alive. This method is thought to have been adopted by Indian artisans, who then evolved it into a culturally distinct art style. It's also known as handblock print or woodblock printing.
Described, it is a method of handblock print patterns on cotton, linen, and silk textiles using wooden blocks. It's a lengthy, arduous procedure that produces creative results. You can check our collection to see the designs created by the artisans.
The Process of Handblock Print
The procedure is lengthy and time-consuming; so let's break it down into a few basic steps:
Pre-washing the Fabric
To eliminate part of the starchiness from the fibers, it is first soaked in water for 24-48 hours. Many Indian artisans wash the fabric in local rivers, reducing the amount of water used in handblock print, making it highly sustainable. Wet fabric lengths are pounded on smooth river stones to soften them before being dried in the sun, which also acts as a natural bleach.
SootiSyahi artisans make sure to keep the process timely to maintain the authenticity and worthiness.
The handblock print design is initially sketched on paper and then transferred to a wooden block. The design is frequently based on a traditional Indian motif inspired by nature, religion, and mythology. Flowers, fruit, birds, animals, and the ideas they represent are particularly popular.
You can check out the designs our artisans have worked on to give you the elegant look for you next special day.
The wooden block must be completely smooth and can come from various plants, including mango and teak. To avoid warping, it is kept 2-3 inches thick. It is oiled and smoothed before the design is carved to soften and hold the color. Only the most skilled carvers are capable of creating intricate designs. Each color that is used in the final design has its block.
Adding Color to the Fabric
The fabric's base color is dyed. The fabric is then laid flat on a surface and carefully pinned to avoid any cloth movement that could result in smudges, requiring the entire printing process to be restarted.
The craftsman generates many dyes by mixing 4-5 basic, natural colors. After that, the carved block is soaked in dye and forcefully pressed on the fabric. The stamp is hammered with a hammer or hand since it demands a forceful press. This method necessitates the most steady hands until the design completely covers the fabric. If more than one color is needed, the artist will let each one dry before adding the next — each with a different stamp. This time-consuming operation necessitates a great deal of patience and accuracy to ensure a consistent pattern emerges.
The fabric is washed and dried for the final time
The fabric is thoroughly cleaned in the river and sun-dried once the color has set. Sun-drying is sustainable compared to other manufacturing processes, reducing energy usage and leaving a far more negligible carbon impact.
Following a final quality inspection, the fabric is cut and sewn into garments.
Hand Block Print vs Other Printing Types?
It was all about speed and mass-producing printed fabrics using machines for a long time. Handblock print is a handcrafted product that emphasizes precision, expertise, and time amidst all of this. The meticulous care that goes into each stage of the block printing process is well worth our praise and admiration.
Another important reason why SootiSyahi emphasizes this type of art form is to promote this traditional art form because it is environmentally benign, thanks to natural colors and low resource consumption.
While the technique has developed throughout the ages, the original method is still used, giving each hand block printed product authenticity. The human touch is evident, with its exciting faults that machines/robots cannot duplicate.
The Future of Handblock Print
The majority of historic textile art styles are environmentally beneficial. So it is with block printing by hand. Every step of the way employs ecologically friendly procedures that respect and celebrate the world. Each handblock print cloth is a work of art that expresses its individuality while simultaneously conveying a message of sustainable fashion.
SootiSyahi believes in keeping the authenticity alive. Moreover, this art originated in India, so hand-block explains the Indian heritage and culture well via this art form.
To generate regular and clear block printing patterns, handblock print requires expertise and a lot of experience. Our team has worked on this aspect very closely. SootiSyahi don’t just focus on fabric manufacturing, but also on the art practiced in different parts of the country by travelling.
It takes a lot more than manufacturing, we entire team work on little aspects to get the best result for our customers. We can see printing designs around, but nothing can beat the authentic art that SootiSyahi and the team majorly works on day and night.
The small variances in the block printing, the colorful and significant designs, and the handmade process of Indian block print cloth give it such a distinct charm.
Millennials are becoming more conscious of their social and environmental responsibilities. With an increase in demand for natural textiles, traditional printing techniques employing natural dyes, and timeless patterns, slow and sustainable fashion is rising. We at SootiSyahi make sure to keep the manufacturing going with the least or minimal damage to the environment.
Human culture, tradition, and nature collide in block print. It is committed to providing environmentally-friendly textile art that responds to the urgent need for sustainable fashion.
In the words of Vivienne Westwood, a British fashion designer
"Buy less. Make wise decisions. "Maintain it."
This is what SootiSyahi works and focuses on. Our sole goal is to enlighten and keep the art alive for the coming generations to keep the heritage and culture alive.
Handblock Print Fabrics: How to Care for Them
These textiles are fragile, so we suggest you guys clean the fabric with a light detergent in cold water. Colors should be washed separately whenever possible. Pre-soaking or drying them in direct sunlight is not recommended by our artisans.
When you buy garments with handblock print.
- You contribute to the livelihood of a traditional artisan in a small workshop or village in India.
- You contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions.
- You choose to dress ethically.
The world is changing at a breakneck speed. Nonetheless, several tiny towns in India are dedicated to preserving the centuries-old tradition of block printing and producing gorgeous printed fabrics with a unique, rustic feel.
We respect this ancient know-how at SootiSyahi, ensuring fair working and pay conditions for our farmers while providing our clients the best value for money.
We believe in a gradual fashion, in small collections of classic pieces that stand the test of time. We're thrilled to provide you with fashionable block-printed kurtis, crop tops, dresses, and sarees. Please look at our selection of block-printed women's clothing and dupatta/scalfs.
What are your thoughts on block printing and fashion that is environmentally friendly?
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us; we'd love to hear from you.
You can also visit our website sootisyahi.com to see our classic and authentic women's clothing.