Each collection is inspired by a different travel story, so our process starts with organising all the ideas we’ve gathered from that journey. We’ll look through all our notes, photos, sketches, research some more, jot down ideas and begin to form patterns - patterns of ideas that interest us, and actual pattern designs. Sometimes we’ll make very rough pen sketches of print and product ideas (so rough that only we understand!). Sometimes we’ll work on developing and refining an image more to see where it leads. Sometimes we draw digitally, directly onto the computer and then print, cut and paste elements to see how they work together. We’ll keep exploring until we have a cohesive set of designs that complement each other and make a collection that reflects our experiences and impressions of that place.
All of our textiles are screen printed by hand. Screen printing is a method where an image is imposed onto a fine mesh silk screen, and ink forced through with a squeegee (flat, smooth, rubber blade) to make a print onto the surface below. Each colour is printed separately, so the design is dissected and a screen made for each layer of colour. The designs are either traced by hand onto a transparent film, or printed directly from the computer onto acetate. These films are then transferred onto the screen with the help of a light sensitive emulsion which, according to the design, leaves the mesh open for ink to pass through, and fills the screen so ink cannot pass through.
Whilst our designs are being prepared, we source the fabric to print on, which we process and dye using AZO free dyes. We’ll source out and make trimmings at this time too - zips, tassels, pom poms, leather... all those fun little details that make the final product super special!
This is one of our favourite parts of the process as it’s when we see all our designs come to life! Once all the fabric and screens are ready to go, we’ll sample each design. First, we check that the screens are correct and all layers are lining up and printing as they should. Secondly, we’ll mix up our inks and decide on the final colour palette. Of course, we’ve already chosen the colours digitally before we get to this stage, but there’s always some tweaking - this is the fun part!
Once we’ve got each design just the way we want it, we’ll print the full run of fabric. For a repeat print, for example, for our quilts, we’ll print yardage. For some products, like our Catch of the Day cushion, we’ll print each piece individually. The fabric gets laid out along a set of really long tables, which has mildly sticky surface so that it stays taut when printed. After printing and drying, the fabric gets heat set, to ensure the design isn’t going anywhere!
Finally, we take all our lovely printed fabric, plus those trimmings and details, and stitch them into finished pieces! We work with a group of local artisans to hand quilt our bedding, and all our cushion covers and table linens are stitched by our wonderful team of in-house tailors in our studio in New Delhi.
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