Heritage Textile

At Bouton, we use some of the finest natural cotton, silk and/or wool. Our textiles are produced in the age-old art of the traditional textile by skilled artisans. Our collections show case some of these styles.

KALAMKARI:

Heritage image 1

Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art of decorating textiles with the aid of a pen or “kalam”. The art of Kalamkari dates back to the 13th century in India. It is a complex and labour-intensive process that involves 17 steps of fabric decorating, and has been passed down over several generations among Indian weavers. The craft is mostly practiced in the state of Andhra Pradesh in south-eastern India.

Only natural dyes - coloring matter derived from leaves, stems, flowers, bark, minerals, and naturally occurring metals – and mordants (commonly alum or iron acetate), which help fix the color onto the fabric, are used. After applying each color, the fabric is washed. Thus, each fabric can undergo up to 20 washings. Various effects are obtained by using seeds, plants and crushed flowers.

HAND-BLOCK PRINTING:

Hand-block printing, while the most artistic, is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all methods of printing, and involves applying colour to fabric in definite patterns or designs. In India, hand-block printing dates back over 250 years, and is practiced mostly in the states of Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

In this process, a design is drawn on, or transferred to, a prepared wooden block. A separate block is required for each distinct colour in the design. A blockcutter carves out the wood. When finished, the block presents the appearance of flat relief carving, with the design standing out.

To print the design on the fabric, the printer applies colour to the block and presses it firmly and steadily on the cloth. Each succeeding impression is made in precisely the same manner until the length of cloth is fully printed.

If the pattern contains several colours the cloth is usually first printed throughout with one, then dried, and printed with the second, the same operations being repeated until all the colours are printed. 

Block printing by hand is a slow process it is, however, capable of yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unobtainable by any other method.

 IKAT:

Ikat

Ikat is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process similar to tie-dye on either the warp or weft fibres.

Bindings, which resist dye penetration, are applied to the threads in the desired patterns and the threads are dyed. Alteration of the bindings and the dyeing of more than one color produce elaborate, multicolored patterns. When all of the dyeing is finished the bindings are removed and the threads are ready to be woven into cloth.

Bouton uses mostly double ikat fabric. This form of weaving requires the most skill for precise patterns to be woven and is considered the premier form of ikat. The amount of labour and skill required also make it the most expensive. It is traditionally found in India and Indonesia.

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