Originating in Kutch, ‘Kala’ cotton is the original pure cotton, ‘old world’ cotton of India. The encouraging production of cotton and its initiative helps sustainable textile production, while also preserving agriculture and artisanal livelihoods in the region of Kutch.
Kala cotton is indigenous to Kutch, and is also organic grown without any pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, preventing their use and making the production defaulty organic. It is purely rain-fed crop used, which allows it to have a high tolerance to natural diseases and pests, which requires minimal investment and interventions.
At Crow, we believe in bracing our roots and using the traditional techniques and craftsmanship of our local artisans in textile making. These local artisans weave the richness of our culture into our clothes.
Ajrak is a form of ancient Indian printing that is traditionally hand block-printed using the resist-dye method, through eco-friendly natural dyes. Ajrak has been long established by the Khatri community of the Kutch desert in Gujarat. Ajrak textile prints have acted as an interpretive role in Sindhi nationalism, keeping the old tradition of block printing alive. It is distinguished with complex geometrical and floral patterns, expressed through bichrome colours of red and black usually.
For around 500 years now, the beautiful craftsmanship of ‘Hand Block Printing’ has been practised in India, concentrated in the royal capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India. Indian artists have practised and mastered the art of block printing by utilising naturally sourced plant dyes, particularly with eco-friendly mordants, which aids in attaching a dye to a material.
Another art of printing that Jaipur lovingly practises is known as ‘Dabu’, which involves block printing that is mud resistant. Therefore, areas of a particular design are purposely omitted and reserved from the natural dyes like kashish for grey-brown, indigo, hues like yellow, red derived from natural sources like pomegranate creating beautiful stencil-like designs.
The textile traditions of India are a collection of diverse techniques and methods of weaving, dyeing, and processing. Each of these activities becoming a craft practice in themselves arrived at after years of development; the tricks of the trade often passed down by word of mouth as closely guarded secrets within craft communities. Colour dyeing is one such integral part of the textile manufacturing process in the subcontinent of India.