24 April 2015

Kurta Jacket SOLD, Summer Shift
Tee Shirt, Bias Scarf

Long Overblouse, Sarah Skirt SOLD

Gaye Overblouse SOLD
available in other prints
Summer Shift, Bias Scarf, Long Flared Skirt SOLD
Big Shirt, Drawstring Pants
Bias V-Neck Blouse with Drawstring Pants SOLD
 Six-Button Blouse, Singlet, Drawstring Pants SOLD

Short Overblouse with Sarah Skirt SOLD

Bias V-Neck Blouse 

23 April 2015

New Styles
Artist's Smock, Organic Cotton SOLD
Gaye Overbouse SOLD, available in 
other prints
Shapely Vest
Tee Shirt 
Tee Shirt
Big Tee Shirt         
Shapely vest, Bias Scarf, Sarah Skirt
V-Neck Blouse, Drawstring Pants
Summer Shift, Sarah Skirt
Mini Vest, Long Flared Skirt
Big Tee Shirt
Bias V-Neck Blouse                                    
Summer Shift, Long Flared Skirt, Bias Scarf SOLD
Gaye Overblouse, Summer shift

Gaye Overblouse, hand embroidered SOLD

22 April 2015

 Handcrafted in India   
Andrée's latest hand block printed fashion collection for Summer 2015 featuring Indigo Dhabu Prints has arrived  
 finest hand blockprinted and handmade "slow clothes" collection, designed and created 
by Andrée in Jaipur. 
Exclusive indigo dhabu handprints and rare botanically-sourced colours.  Natural cotton, silk and wool.
One-of-a-kind pieces, sourced directly from the master block printers and weavers  of India's rural communities.
Women printer at the indigo workshop
Summer Shift with Kurta Jacket

Who else makes our clothing?  Many nimble hands are at work to create our handmade garments.
The team of tailors are practiced in their craft, and after the pattern has been hand-cut, each individual tailor stitches and completes the garment.  No assembly lines here!

At the communal press table, tailors pressing seams and pipings for stitching in progress

10 April 2015

Get ready for your indigo summer!

Lined Six-Button Blouse with Drawstring Pants in Lehariya print.
Tee Shirt in Thin Stripe with Bias Scarf in Fat Stripe.
All dhabu resist-printed and indigo dyed, on 100% cotton

Ironing to prep for the photography
Geeta is helping to check every piece

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

6 April 2015

I am very pleased to be able to bring authentic hand dyed indigo clothes to you at Sister Bazaar.  Much effort goes into producing this lovely traditional craft, and supporting the continuation of this art of India is important to me.

I must mention a feature of indigo dyed clothes that many of you are familiar with, the colour will release during initial washes!  The excess indigo dye sits between the cotton fibers, wash separately.  Your indigo dyed clothes will gently fade like much-loved jeans.  Do not wear your new indigo over light colours until it's been washed several times.

Indigo dye made from the indigofera tinctoria has been used for centuries to colour clothes.  The cultivation and processing of the indigo plant into dye was a long and arduous process causing noxious vapours as it fermented.  Today almost all printers in India use a synthetic indigo that is very close in process to the plant based dye. Our printer recently explained to me how he prepares his dye bath.

this is the twelve-foot deep indigo pit.  The printer cultivates this dye bath carefully (I compare it to the fermentation process of wine-making) and in the evenings he cleans out sludge and refreshes the dye bath.  This way he can continue to use the pit for several weeks until the dye bath is exhausted and must be replaced.
women of the family are printing "DHABU" resist paste with wooden blocks

the dhabu printing paste is homemade from clay, lime powder and natural tree resin

the cotton voile has been resist printed with woodblocks, and sprinkled with sawdust

the cloth is dyed once and then resist printed a second time
closeup after the second printing

Cloth resting after the first dip, indigo must oxidize to develop it's blue shade, it air dries from green to blue within minutes.  The cloth is spread to dry in the sun before the next printing.

self at the indigo printers' workshop, happy in my favourite blues!