We use a fusion of artisan blockprinted textiles, and recycled fabrics ranging from factory floor cuttings to post-consumer pieces found in street markets.
Ajrakh is a special form of hand block printing from the Sindhi region, a technique dating back three thousand years. The community of printers go by the name of Khatri and currently create their work from the village of Ajrakhpur in the remote Kutchi desert area of Gujarat, Western India. Our ajrakh fabrics this season were created by artisan printer Afzel Khatri.
They still practice the indigenous way of creating the fabric using natural colors such as indigo, henna, madder root, pomegranate, turmeric, mud and rust iron among many others Alum is used to fix the color to the fabric. Creating ajrakh is quite a laborious process. Each different color on the cloth must have its own block and left to dry for a day before the next color can be layered on. The word “Ajrakh” actually comes from the term “Aaj ke din rakh” or “keep it for the day!” until the color fastens. Slow down and have patience, reflect and be mindful of your work. This philosophy combined with Ajrakh’s brilliant hues and handfeel, are why we love this technique.
Our patchworked pieces are made from a colorful motley crew of recycled fabrics and deadstock blockprints from small shops. Our chosen medium of fabric is alive and “conscious” if we choose to feel it as an entity of our creative expression. We see previously used and discarded textiles as a vessel for stories and intrigue which we then stitch together anew.
We’ve gathered a variety of post industrial (production waste) fabrics from Seelmpur market in East Delhi. Delhi is a hub for garment production and there are facilities all over. Everything from massive high-MOQ factories on the outskirts to masterji uncle tailor shops in the center of town. The scraps have to go somewhere and if it’s not a landfill or to individual homes, the bulk of the rest ends up in Seelampur- an area northeast of the center city. It’s kind of a crazy mess but I love digging through colors and textures- so it was a joy to experience.
While some of our reSaree pieces come from my mother in law, the inimitable Uma Sitaraman- many pieces are also found in Jaipur. Suppliers there gather vintage sarees from all over the country and consolidate them into piles based on fabric content. This is also a super fun scavenger hunt, we never know what colors and prints we will find to re-create beautiful art with our stitching partners!