Behind the Block Printing Process
We are so excited to continue to explore the beautiful history and craft of block printing in our Summer collections. To honor our mission of creating lasting, beautiful collections while supporting women throughout our supply chain, we intentionally seek out facilities that are in precise alignment with our values -- and we could not have found a greater illustration of that alignment in our block print partner for our new Solstice Canyon Blossoms print. For this print, we worked closely with an incredible woman co-owned facility in India, learning more about the incredible heritage of block printing and their own internal initiatives along the way.
Based in Delhi and working across several artisanal communities in rural Rajasthan, our manufacturing partner has become a steward of this traditional, generational skill with a centuries-old past. Describing their work as existing at the intersection of fashion, education, and cultural preservation practices, they carefully consider how everything they do relates to broader activism efforts in environmental conservation, human rights, and advocacy for opportunities for women within the fashion ecosystem. To that end, they have also become a champion of women’s and workers’ rights: As one major initiative, they pilot a program that trains women below the poverty line in New Delhi to sew and develop seamstressing skills. Knowing the dangers of precarity for women, and the harmful cycle that many are thrown into at youth, our partner has developed these sewing centers to help women -- who are often excluded from educational opportunities and married at a young age without personal choice -- grow professionally and build economic empowerment through a new, stable career path.
Our work with them began in designing our exclusive block print, a design borne from a synergistic exchange of ideas. After sending us traditional motifs as inspiration and working to develop various versions over time, the end result is a collaboration wholly aligned in both vision and values. From the layout and layers of multiple, saturated colors to the floral design that is hand-carved in wood blocks for the block print process, our Solstice Canyon Blossoms print is indicative of the beauty that can come from such close partnership.
In traditional block printing, hand carved wooden blocks are drenched in dye and then hand stamped onto the material. For our Solstice Canyon Blossoms print, we used this traditional process on 100% GOTS Certified organic cotton from India. Through our work together, we also continued to discover the richness of the history of block print as an art form, which originated in the Bagru village of Rajasthan in the desert region of Western India. Today, the Chhipa community of this area remains the custodians of this generational craft; in fact, some sources claim that the origin of the word ‘Chhipa’ is ‘chhap’ or ‘chhapna,’ which means ‘to print.’ Often, block printing family businesses engage three or more generations in the work. According to our partner, these types of collaborations help to preserve traditional and generational craft, while creating economic empowerment and opportunities for communities in rural India -- with wide-ranging socioeconomic impact. We are so thrilled to share these new styles with our community, and to be a part of supporting global communities and regions where we produce our collections!
Cut from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and printed by hand using traditional block-printing techniques, our block print styles are true heirlooms in the making - easy enough for everyday wear, but special enough to keep and cherish forever. See below for a look at our Solstice Canyon Blossoms and Red Dahlia treasures!