the colorful cotton quilts we sell at the shop are hand-made in india-- printed and made in rajasthan, where hand block-printing textiles has been a tradition for hundreds of years.
print-blocking is an intricate and labor intensive process for dying fabrics with gorgeous colors and patterns. the entire design is mapped out, like a jig-saw puzzle, with the details, orientation, and colors planned long before printing starts. then blocks, from 3-30 of them, depending on the intricacy of the pattern, are drawn, and then hand-carved from pieces of shesham wood. it takes a high level of skill to carve blocks, and this work is usually done by the owner of the print-shop. the dyes are mixed (the companies we carry use vegetable dyes), the blocks laid out (one block for each color), and then the fabric stretched out ready to be printed. the printmaker then prints the pattern, one color and one block at a time-- measuring out the pattern by using only hand measurements (two fingers between each flower, for example). the fabric is washed between printing each color, keeping it fresh and ready for the next color, and then laid out in the sun to set the dye. each step builds on the beautiful pattern until the whole fabric is covered with detail and color.
this is a close-up of one of our quilts. we love it.