We spent three days in Jaipur shooting this video for West Elm on the hand block printing process to introduce a new line of hand block printed quilts. It was my dream job. I will go to India anytime as it is just about my favorite place on earth.Rajasthan is a craft state in India. All kinds of exceptional hand work is done there and hand block printing barely scratches the surface.
Many of the factories as they are called are right in Jaipur, while others are in the nearby town of Saganeer. Factory is a word used in the loosest sense. The facility is usually an open three sided shed with natural light. The process from carving the intricate blocks to stamping the fabric is really quite extraordinary to see. In todays world where everything feels somewhat disposable, this process takes you back to the human hand and connects us to the person actually making it.It is an amazing art form.
If you were so inclined as to want to go to India and take a hand block printing workshop or an indigo dye workshop, such a thing does exist. there is a program called Wonderful Workshops that offers many interesting traditional craft classes in Jaipur.
You can’t visit without going to Anoki, an amazing home and textile shop. They specialize in many of the traditional Mugal prints. The Anoki shop has a lovely cafe and is the perfect place to grab a quick lunch.
If you decide to take a visit to the amber fort you must stop off at the Anoki museum for some tea and biscuits as it it just down the road from the fort. At the museum you can see a comprehensive history of the art of block printing as well as beautiful and historical fabric samples and articles of clothing.