Even though Christmas was months ago, it seems like it has only been a few days since the holidays when I wear the Passion Lilie scarf I was given for a Christmas present. I was initially drawn to the shades of emerald, mint and white with designs intertwined on my scarf, but I decided to do a closer inspection to get a better idea of how my scarf was made. My purpose behind this is not to give attention to a specific brand or product. Instead I find looking into the story behind an item to be just as rewarding as wearing it. So, what did I discover about my scarf that made it different than before? As it turns out, the elaborately printed designs meant more than a pretty interpretation of leaves as I looked at the process of hand block printing.
Hand block printing begins with a hand carved block that can take 7-10 days to make and lasts about an average of several months. The carved motif is traced on a block and the wood is chipped away to make the stamp. Most designs are based on Indian myths. To create the print on the fabric, the fabric is pinned down flat and the block is dipped in natural dyes and inks and stamped onto the fabric. The last step involves rinsing the fabric in water and hang drying it in the sun. Understanding the steps taken that have been used for years, it’s clear that patience and dedication are what make these beautiful prints a reality.
Looking down at the nature-inspired designs on my scarf, I can’t help but think of the experimentation with natural dyes I completed in Peru a few years ago. The intricate details make me think of the careful precision it takes to carve the small pieces and shapes. When it comes to styling my scarf, I’m grateful for the hands that slowly made something so versatile for many different seasons. I’ve worn it in summer, spring, fall and even winter. It’s perfect with tan colors, denim and even bright colors. Whether I want to dress up a casual outfit or accent a more formal one, I have a great accessory to do just that.