In June this year we journeyed back to the village of Bhujodi to meet up with Babubhai, a very talented weaver who produced the striped fabric used in 'The Way Shirt Dress'.
Babubhai lives with his wife, 5 children, mother and aunt and works full time on his loom supporting his family. He comes from the Vankar community of the Kutch Desert, traditional weavers and Rabari farmers originally from Rhajastan.
It was wonderful to return to Babubhai's home after one year and see the final stage of this stunning fabric being hand woven.
Above you can see the soft mal mal cotton stretched from the loom, the reels of natural hand dyed yarn and some of the finished fabric.
Babubhai on his loom weaving the traditional sari fabric used for the shirt dress. These have a beautiful stripe pattern that blends into a fine mal mal cream cotton. Here you can see Babubhai finishing the end of one of the sari's.
Babubhai showing us how he dyed the soft charcoal colour used in the stripe. He filled a large drum with water, sugar cane and rusty pipe, then fermented the mix for a month before dyeing the yarn ready to weave.
Alkanna Root, I have to admit I was incredibly excited when I found Babubhai using this root to make the orange colour. This is where our name Alcana comes from, its a very popular root used in natural dye, usually to make the colour red, here Babubhai achieved a soft orange by leaving the yarn in the dye bath for a shorter time period.
So special seeing the weaving project and the design project come together to make a product that can support everyone involved in the process. We hope this limited run of shirt dresses can go to wonderful homes where people enjoy wearing this beautiful story.
Big thanks to Babubhai for making our wonderful fabric, to Kuldip for introducing, translating and connecting us, as well as having us to stay in his home. And a heartfelt thanks to the amazing man on the left, Shaun for the incredible support on this adventure from the beginning. xxx