My mud resistant hand block print fabric
My favorite dress of the season is without doubt my Puri Dress. Hand made using mud resistant block print and all natural indigo.
Hand made from custom made fabric, in limited quantities and never re-stocked, read more about how this special fabric is made below.
The journey to make this special fabric is as pprecious as arduous.
Step #1 First we cut the grey fabric in pieces - a maximum length of 10 metres is preferred.
Step #2 Then, a mixture of tree gum, mud collected from dry lakes, and a byproduct of wheat is mixed (by foot!) and sifted, creating a smooth, sticky bowl of mud.
Step # 3 Using a carved wooden printing block, mud is then transferred to the fabric.
Step #4 While the mud is still wet, sawdust is sprinkled onto the printed mud, to speed its drying, and to stop the mud from transferring when the fabric is laid out in the sun to dry.
Step #5 After drying, the fabric is carefully dipped into a deep vat of natural indigo dye and stirred gently with a long pole. The blue colour of indigo is caused by an oxidation process, so care must be taken not to get air bubbles into the vat, as it will cause an uneven dye process.
Step #6 Sunshine and oxygen are the essential ingredients for the blue of indigo, so the dipped scarves are laid in the sun to dry. You can see the mud is still sticking to the fabric, protecting those bits from making contact with the color.
Step #7 A final wash with a mordant called Alum, which sets the dye with the fabric, removes the mud, revealing the white fabric underneath that the mud had covered, and the fabric is dried once again.
And that is how this magical fabric is made!