The Art of Block Printing

It’s no secret that so many today’s biggest fashion trends have roots in traditional craft hailing from cultures around the world. And while it’s fascinating to see how contemporary fashion has built upon ancient techniques over hundreds of years, there is nothing like seeing, feeling, and wearing an original, crafted, by hand, honoring each step throughout the process. 

Many cultures throughout the world have utilized block printing in home textiles and fashion, but India transformed this ancient art by combining it with exquisite natural dyes and multiple dying techniques to create some of the most complex prints the world has ever known.

block printing - jacket by souk indigo artisan fashion

Our Rowling Block Print Jacket is the first instance of block printing we’ve produced in collaboration with our artisan partners in India, last spring. It’s sweet and subtle with an all-over faded leopard print repeated throughout. It also serves as a hidden lining in our embroidered version of the Rowling, an effortless yet striking detail that turns heads as the open front sways with your step.

There is a mesmerizing process behind block printing that involves carving blocks into varied and complex patterns, dying fabrics with natural dyes, and hand-printing with those blocks, one by one, across the plane of fabric. It’s a slow, calculated process with infinite possibilities—one that’s often overlooked amongst the faster, cheaper, and more convenient production methods in our society today.

the art of block printing clothes


We’ve built upon this in our upcoming Fall collection, which invites the wearer on a global tour of the best souks in Jaipur and beyond, where they’ll uncover the layers of history that cloak these vibrant marketplaces. We hope you’ll take some time to learn a bit more about block printing and other components of traditional Indian textile art, such as the art of mirror work, and Kantha embroidery, which dates back over 500 years! 

Check back in a couple weeks to pre-order Souk Indigo’s Fall 2020 collection where you’ll see this moodboard come to life in blouses, dresses, a gorgeous wrap skirt, and more.

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