In this edition of Postcards we highlight the making process of our new block-printed colour-ways Coral and Azure, featured on our latest Kyra dress in the dazzling new maxi length.
The Kyra Maxi in Azure and Coral was crafted in the Sanganer district of Jaipur, India, by a small team of artisans and makers who carry on their family traditions of the skilful art of block printing fabric by hand. Like all of our hand-printed designs, there is an immense level of depth to their creation. From carving the wood blocks to finalising the stitches, the slow creation of each piece is truly an art form.
We were blessed to witness the printing of these fabrics during our visit to India last October. Thereafter, it took several months to complete the making of these two styles, which were hand-crafted in small quantities of each size.
Lovingly handmade using the ancient technique of hand block printing in Jaipur, India.
Highlighting this meticulously hand stamped technique, eight hand-carved blocks were required to produce this delicate design through eight separate layers of printing. Each block has been individually and intricately hand-carved from Indian rosewood, popularly known as Shisham.
The breathtaking hemline is actually printed first using four of the eight blocks, whereby each colour of the hemline is one block-print, and so on. Each placement eloquently combines forming a decorative depiction of the signature archways of Indian temples.
Allowing the body of the dress to then be crafted from the same section of fabric is what provides the cascading effect of this floor length style. Once the hemline is dried, the artisans then begin printing the body of the dress using another four layers in the same rhythmic technique. Starting from left to right, the first block is placed with very careful alignment to ensure the second, third, and fourth block placement perfectly form the full design. It’s really quite astonishing to see the entire design evolve, print after print, with such precision and accuracy!
Rather than the traditional prints of Jaal-style block design, which illustrates flowers intertwined with leaves and vines—as seen on our signature Kyra in Wine print, or the popular Buti-style block design featuring single placed blooms—as seen on our Prairie dress, the Azure and Coral print presents a modern expression of this ancient artisanal technique and carries with it its own meaning.
This customised block design was inspired by the Jasmine flower which is commonly grown in the neighbourhoods of Sanganer. Jasmine is used in daily prayers and offerings in temples across India, being a symbol of good fortune, love and spiritual ascension, with many referring to the beautifully fragrant flower as “gifts from god”.
The four blocks used in printing the florals form a delicate display of Jasmine flowers dancing upon the skirt as it falls into its alluring hemline, summoning a kind of indescribable elegance. As you look closely at the patterns you can see how a different block has been used for each colour of the flower just as for the hemline.
The process of delicately layering each block print to create the jasmine flower on the Kyra Maxi Azure & Coral styles.
On Azure the four colours are green, turquoise, light and dark blue. While on Coral they are peach, apricot, turquoise and olive green. Mesmerising in detail and quality hand-craftsmanship, along with the special addition of pockets, it's any wonder our reimagined Kyra style is quickly becoming everyone's new favourite silhouette!
The Kyra Maxi In Coral and Azure are now available on our online boutique. With the popularity of the style they are expected to be restocked in the future. Though keeping the slow fashion creation process in mind, they can take up to a year to re-make and can never be promised in the same colour-ways. Just as each and every hand-stamped detail carries its own story, each dress is truly unique and one-of-a-kind, designed to be cherished for its individuality and authentic aesthetic.
By Ella Josephine Archer
Discover Kyra Maxi Azure & Coral