Revitalising a Vanishing Craft (2011)
Always searching for new interpretations of block printing, AMHP discovered Ahmedabad designer, Kamaldeep Kaur, working with these nearly obsolete prints in western India. Worn by only a few communities in Kutch, Gujarat, the simplified style of dots mimic the famed bandhani tie-dyed textiles of the region. These minimal designs possibly originated when printers used blocks to transfer bandhani patterns onto cloth, a less expensive alternative to true tie-dye. Gradually, traditional designs disappeared and synthetic dyes provided a gaudy new palette.
Luckily, Kaur had located a father-son team who still practiced this craft in the tiny village of Naliya, Kutch. Partnering with Anokhi, she began working with these artisans to revitalise their textiles. The subtle natural colour and time-honoured patterns appealed to the contemporary tastes. Through projects like this, one hopes that printing traditions will continue to adapt and thrive in the modern world.