9 April 2015

How did your Sister Bazaar garment get dhabu printed?
Before the cotton gets dipped in the indigo pit, it is printed by hand with woodblocks

First the woodblock had to be hand-carved following a very specific design.   This is the "Sarah Scallop" block.
Dhabu resist paste is a soft sticky texture that needs to be monitored throughout the day in the pan, it cannot get too wet or too dry to print.  It is made of smooth clay, tree gum and wheat chaff finely ground. 
One of the master dhabu printers breaks in the new blocks, to make sure the registration and alignment are perfect.    This is all done by eye and surprisingly fast!  Note his stabilizing little finger, dhabu paste is soft and sticky and takes a delicate hand to apply. 
Freshly carved blocks in "Dizzy Dalia" awaiting their trial dhabu printing.  The designer's drawing for the carvers is on tracing paper, and her colour mockup has been printed off the computer.

The master dyer checks his indigo pit daily to top up the potency of the dye.
The first trial of Dizzy Dalia drying in the desert sun.  The block is a success, but complex to print having many small blocks that need to be carefully spaced…by the printer's fine eye

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