MAJSTUDIO / MALMAL BLOCKPRINT
Written by Kelly Maj.
Last October I drove through the desert of Kutch on the back of a Royal Enfield searching for blockprinters that could realise the designs I’ve made back home. A few years ago I fell in love with the crafts of Kutch, and appreciate the artisans and their work so much that it motivated me to collaborate with them.
HOW ITS MADE –
Visiting Kutch for the first time and seeing the craftworkers work, made me appreciate manual work, and natural materials even more then before. I respect the artisans and look up to their skills, and I am jealous about their natural work environment.
These scarfs are blockprinted by hand with wooden blocks by tree brothers I call “the blockprint brothers”. Block designs are carved into wooden blocks and then individually printed on the cotton cloth. Its printed on a fabric called Malmal. It is a fine, soft cotton muslin. It is sheer, delicate and lightweight.
THE BLOCKPRINT BROTHERS –
I went to the desert without an agent because I wanted to keep the contact between me and the artisans to be as personal as possible. This to keep the project transparent so I can share these beautiful people, craft & adventure with you.
When I drove into the village you directly notice the blockprint craft. Long pieces of blockprinted fabric are drying in the desert sun. After a earthquake in 2001, a large number of workshops were built in this village to encourage the artisans to keep their craft of ‘Block Printing’, alive. When we walked into the workshop of the three brothers they were standing in big concrete water tubs to wash some cloths. They had very friendly faces, and looked like hard workers. I was welcome to explain my designs to them and see if it was all possible. We couldnt speak fully english together but we seemed to understand eachother. We drank some chai from a dish and shared our phone numbers. Soon he was going to send me some pictures of the first printed results.
Back home I received some pictures, and we facetimed together to discuss the designs. The results were above expectations, so couldn’t make me happier. Thats why I proudly present you a few months later my first collection MAJSTUDIO / MALMAL BLOCKPRINT.