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A luxurious silk lounge coat in very soft lilac that got its color and pattern by folding the silk and clamping parts of it together with pieces of wood. The dye does not pick up these clamped parts, creating a wonderful pattern. Read more..
This silk lounge coat is designed and made by the Khatri brothers: Abdullah and Jabbar. They live and work in Bhuj, the capital of the Kutch district in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Their company employs 200 rural women. The brothers are known for their innovation and exceptional work. Two years in a row, in 2006 and 2007, Jabbar was awarded the prestigious UNESCO Seal of Excellence for his outstanding innovations in the tie-and-dye craft.
This lounge jacket is made with the clamp dye technique, also called itajime. Basically, the fabric is clamped between wooden blocks to create a paint pattern. But as simple as this sounds, the reality is that complex. The fabric is folded, knotted, dyed, unfolded again and this a number of times to get the right pattern in the right color combinations. (Only AZO-free dye is used).
The choice of fabric is also important: light enough to fold several times and still allow the color to penetrate to the inner folds.
The fabric is folded into a small, tight and neatly folded bundle. This bundle is fixed on wooden blocks. The shape and placement of the blocks determine the pattern on the fabric.
The clamped bundle is immersed in a steam vessel for up to 20 minutes. This allows the color to seep into the inner folds of the fabric. Fabric on the outside fold often takes on a slightly darker tone than fabric on the inside of the fold. The pieces of fabric covered by the wooden blocks are completely resistant to the paint and remain undyed.
Since the 17th century, the brothers' ancestors practiced the local and ancient art of bandhani. This is a tie-and-dye technique in which pieces of fabric are wrapped with thin thread before the fabric is dyed. When the brothers were 17 years old, they learned bandhani.
The Khatri brothers live and work in Bhuj, the capital of the Kutch district. This remote region in the Indian state of Gujarat is a textile mecca. In the blogs the special story of a scarf and Blokprint you can read more about the textile crafts of this region (in Dutch).