During our mini tour of alluring Gujarat, my friends and I spent part of a day in Khavda village. We visited textile dyers at their block printing shop. On the train ride from Ahmedabad to Bhuj, I did some shibori stitching on my cotton tunic. My hope had been to bring one of my failed cotton tunics and over dye it with Indigo, in India! And I had the opportunity here!
On a previous trip to India, I visited an Indigo workshop in Sanganer: https://maijazemitis.com/indigo-dyeing-in-sanganer-india/
Indigo dyeing in Gujarat
Using traditional block printing methods, with natural dyes and indigo, Ifran Khatri and his brother, Bhilal are dyeing large pieces of cotton fabric.
A table, in the shop, held many carved wood blocks for printing. Each piece of fabric is printed with several colours. And each block is a different part of the design. The fabric is printed from lightest to darkest colours of dye. Finally, it is immersed in Indigo.
Ifran and his brother generously allowed me to use their Indigo vat. This vat had a huge flower!
Ifran poured some of the Indigo from the mother vat into the vat that I was going to use. Such an intense blue! After dyeing, I lay the dyed tunic on the ground, to dry in the sun.
At this time, we went for a walk to the local store, where I bought some jaggery, for my morning coffee.
The indigo is bought from a local market
Tamarind from the tree growing at the front of their shop is also used in the vat.
Before our arrival in Bhuj, we spent a few days in Ahmedabad. We took an auto-rickshaw, to the Arvind Indigo exhibition, called “Alchemy”, a must-see on my list. This was a spectacular show on Indigo dyeing in Gujarat. It should be noted that it is on temporarily at Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum.
This exhibition included the works of 20 artists from India and abroad. A large variety of materials were used, in addition to fabric. These included paper, stone, plexiglass, aluminum, and more.