Another day, another factory. We visited another printing factory, which was a contrast to the others demonstrating the difference between Sanganer and Bagru styles of block print designs. I was excited by the bright and bold colour combinations, and the very fashionable motif designs. I bought a lovely print with a small motif repeat, and contrasting kantha stitching in diamonds between the motifs. Fabric was available to buy in bundles sufficient to make up a tunic, trousers and a matching crepe scarf. The fabric for the tunics had a trim machine sewn for the neckline, and any extra detailing such as the kantha stitching was in the shape of the front and back pieces.
One thing that was particularly interesting was the block printing of a garment part way through construction, using newsprint as a mask. This avoided awkward placement of designs on the torso, and allowed complex construction with fluidity of pattern across the garment.
The pattern cutting was clever, keeping the arms and body as a single piece to avoid the tricky balancing of the shoulders.
This machinist was sewing edgings freehand in a number of ornate designs. I thought the padding and covering of the machine arm with the needle poking through was a good idea, protecting the work.
During our trip, as a group we decided to make a book for Jamie, who organised the holiday. We each had a page to work with. Below is my contribution, a sketch based on our experiences so far. I used some blocks bought in Sanganer, and a base of torn local newspaper layered with white acrylic paint. Colour was added with watercolour washes and Inktense pencils. I titled it ‘The Spirit of Recycling” which seemed appropriate given our visit to the paper factory. I was also reminded of the layers of torn posters on the walls of the streets visible in most places around the city.