During our trip to India in March, we drove about an hour outside of Jaipur to spend the day working with the highly skilled artisans at our tie-dye unit. Based in a rural village, these skilled craft makers make all the hard work worth while. Whilst surrounded by lengths of hanging fabric drying in the warmth of the sun, the artisans stamp and twist fabrics creating magic for us to work with to create our newest collection.The unit specializes in screen printing, tie-dyeing, batik and bandhani. We feel so privileged to work with such a beautiful heritage craft.
We were instantly in awe of the skilled craftspeople who have worked in the unit for many years. It was such a pleasure to meet them, hear about the unit and watch them in action. Indian traditional craft is so special, we loved learning about the artisan’s skills and collaborating with them to make our ideas come to life.
There was a real sense of pride and genuine passion for craft from all the artisans: it was a great privilege to work with them.
Meeting the Colour Master
We met Rukunuddin Khan (below), known as the “Colour Master”, who has worked in the unit for over 40 years. He is an incredibly skilled craftsman who can recreate any colour in dye form by eye. We gave him a lilac fabric to colour match to and couldn’t believe how fast and precise his dye colour was. It was a real inspiration to meet Rukunuddin, we really felt how proud and passionate he was about keeping up the dyeing traditions of India.
He told us all about his son, who had worked with him in the unit for several years until deciding to open another tie-dye unit using all the expertise he had learned from his father. It was so encouraging to hear of another tie-dye unit being set up, as these crafts are now not typically passed down, especially with the younger generations.
As the ‘Colour Master’ his favourite colours to create are pinks. His ultimate favourite? Baby pink!
We also spent a lot of time with Shameen Bano (Below), who specialises in tie-dye, ombre and bandhini and has worked at the unit for the past 30 years. She was so happy to show us her work and it was magical to watch her process. We had tie-dye concepts and ideas to show her and it was fascinating to watch her recreate our ideas in fabric. She manipulated the fabrics with her hands, twisting, pinching and tieing the fabric to create the intricate designs. She even used her feet in the process of tieing to hold tension while working with her hands.
Her favourite technique to use is bandhini, a specialist type of tie-dye using tiny hand-tied knots to create lavish patterns in fabric.
It was so valuable to have the time with Shameen, we tried so many different techniques and colours until we got exactly what we wanted. Shameen was so proud of her work and it was truly an honor to work alongside her and be involved in the tie-dye process.
Our Design ProcessBelow (left) is Shameen creating the first samples of our “Sienna” Dress (below right), made from our sustainable and breathable EcoVero Lenzing fabric.
Seeing what the artisans create first hand and working with their expertise is what makes our garments so special.
We love that we’ve been involved with the whole design process, creating the tie-dye experiments with Shameen, Rukunuddin and the rest of the team that were the start point of many styles in our range.
Real Artisanal Craft
In an industry dominated by fast fashion, it is so refreshing to work with real artisans who create these beautiful designs by hand, rather than digital imitations. We feel so lucky to be a part of their community, helping to cherish and keep the techniques alive.
We’re proud to pay all our workers a fair wage for the incredible work they do, respecting the true value of the Indian craftsmanship they produce.
We hope this is the start of a long and creative partnership.