Block print in India — hands across time

Prized for millennia, Indian hand block printed fabrics are among the world’s oldest decorated trade textiles — fragments of Indian block printed fabric have been found in burial chambers from 4 th century Egypt.

Hot and dry conditions in the desert regions of Rajasthan and unique mineral properties in the rivers around its capital, Jaipur, accentuate the clear, crisp colours of the natural dyes from the region.

Image - My very first block print design, "Egret". Right, a freshly carved block of Water Lily (1985)

Many technical considerations are involved in conceptualizing how to break down a larger design into component parts that can then be carved on to each wood block. 

For example, the final carved blocks must be light enough to be wielded with one hand. So, not too big, and they must also be carved so that the print surface is balanced from side to side, meaning that motifs with thick design elements cannot be carved on the same block as motifs that feature fine lines, and so on.

Block printing is a high skill craft. Our production team includes Master-level block carvers, block printers, and a dedicated colour master at each unit, along with the “wash men,” cloth finishers and dyers. 

Our garments

  • Printed by hand in small batches using hand-carved wood blocks
  • Designed by Andree Jaipur — also include a Limited Print Series produced in the traditional manner
  • Feature an Andree Jaipur Indigo Line which is also resist-hand printed and dip-dyed
  • Use AZO-free inks and dyes 
  • Built from fully recyclable materials, including buttons made from coconut and seashell