Jun 2, 2014

Hand Block Printed Childrens’ Wear by The Color Caravan

It all started as a four month internship for our design intern Anurita Roy. She came in from Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur for her internship with The Color Caravan. We helped her explore fabrics, patterns, colors, understand the design process. Her brief was to create a clothing range for children, inspired from animals, fruits, ice creams, cars; using hand block prints.
At The Color Caravan, we are always excited about giving a new twist to our lovely Indian traditions.  And that is exactly what we did – with Anurita learning and designing to create a memorable childrens’ wear range.

Designs and motifs were kept simple, yet playful – appealing to children and adults alike.  We made a variety of doodles (crows, parrots were discussed, but rejected); with giraffe, elephant, pig, mouse, car and lollies making it to the final shortlist.

The design to actualization journey had now begun.  We had to look at deign repetition on fabric and placement of motifs.  With the next step being the final selection of colors to be assigned to each print.  With the next step being the conversion of these designs into wooden blocks.
 Our partner craftsman Abdul Raouf maybe just 41 years old, but has over 25 years experience in the art of block making.  Abdul made these blocks using the traditional sheesham wood,which he carved into desired shapes using steel chisels. Once carved, these blocks are soaked in oil to soften their grains.

The blocks were now ready. And we were excited about the next step in our design journey. The block printing!  We went to the finest block printers of Sanganer, Jaipur to get our fabrics printed.

Block printing is a 6-step process that involves:
- Pre-printing treatment – removing starch and dust by soaking the fabric in bleach for 1-2 days
- Drying the clean fabric
- Actual block printing process – which itself can be an intricate 7-8 step process, depending on number of colors used
- Drying in the sun to fix the color
- Steaming fabric in special boilers and drying
- Ironing to further fix the color permanently

We now had our precious fabrics to begin the final leg of this journey. Stitching them into cute shirts and adorable frocks for 3-9 year old boys and girls.
For boys, we chose half-sleeved shirts with two-pockets and a straight collar. The buttons matched the tones of the respective prints.

For girls we created two different patterns (don’t we girls always need more?).One was an A- line pattern with Peter Pan collar with a closing on its back. The second was a yoke pattern frock (again with a back closing), with frill and one pocket on the lower half of the frock. The color of collar, yoke and buttons matched the tones of the respective prints.

The new range is deliciously lovely (even if we do say it ourselves).  Come and buy these at The Color Caravan online store for a smart, cool summer for your kids, nieces and  nephews.

1 comment:

Block beauty said...

I appreciate with your fantastic blog information and I mean all blog reader will be happy this information. You should keep up information about new block printing designs.
Block Printing in Bangalore| Block printing on cloth