We thrive to preserve and revitalize handmade and traditional techniques which are often passed from one generation of artisans to the next. For MASTANI, luxury is defined by the detail and unique quality that creating a garment by hand brings. The essence of MASTANI is the concoction of age-old craftsmanship and modern design excellence with a focus on sophistication and edge. For our first collection we use techniques like Hand looming, Natural dyeing, Hand block printing and Hand embroidery.
Different techniques used in MASTANI collections
A ‘handloom’ is a loom that is used to weave cloth without the use of any electricity. Hand weaving is done on pit looms or frame looms. Weaving is primarily the interlacing of two sets of yarn – the warp (length) and the weft (width).The equipment that facilitates this interlacing is the loom.This type of fabric is really precious because it has been woven on a draw-loom, an ancient and versatile technology.
Very closely associated with the city of Varanasi, or Benaras, Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in coloured silks and with or without gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word “broccoli,” comes from the Italian word broccato meaning “embossed cloth”. It is a supplementary weft technique, where the ornamental brocading is produced by a supplementary, non-structural weft in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together. The purpose of this is to give the appearance that the weave actually was embroidered on. Varanasi is renowned for its Benarasi brocades, coveted and worn largely for weddings and special occasions. Average Lead Time for 1 loom, 1 month: 15 - 17 meters
The Jamdani technique of weaving originates in the Indian region of Bengal and is one of the most complicated and intricate types of weaving. The name, Persian in origin, means flower, ‘jam’, and vase,‘dani’. Historically, the motifs were geometric or floral in nature and were commonly made with metallic threads called zari. Instead of the supplementary weft going from one selvage to the other, the motif is created by passing a small bobbin through specific sections of the warp by hand in between throws of the shuttle. The Jamdani technique can only be created on a hand loom and yields a clean, neat finish on the backside of the fabric that won’t fray. Average Lead Time for 1 loom, 1 month = 5-15 meters
PAWRI AND CUTWORK
Pawri refers to a technique of weaving fabric tightly so that it can sustain a post-weaving cutwork process without fraying. It is often woven by younger weavers due to the increased level of physical strength it requires to weave the fabric tighter. Cutwork refers to a post-weave process of cutting floats on the fabric to enhance the motif design, creating texture and variations in the opacity of the fabric. Generally, our cutwork is completed by women in the villages. Average Lead Time for 1 loom, 1 month = 15 meters.
HAND BLOCK PRINTING
While printing designs onto fabric most likely originated in China about 4,500 years ago, it was on the Indian subcontinent where hand-blocked fabric reached its highest visual expression. Hand Block printing is a traditional art form in India that uses carved blocks of wood which are dipped in bright colours and stamped onto cotton or silk fabric to create colourful textile. The traditional block printing technique uses a different block for each colour of the design. The final design is a combination of many smaller patterns and motifs- each having a different colour. The printing process requires skill and time to stamp the repeating colours and patterns on the fabric- layer by layer, colour by colour. The slight irregularities that are a result of hand work create an artistic effect which is emblematic of block printing. Different Techniques of Hand Block printing: Discharge Printing, Direct Block Printing, Resist Printing.
Natural dyes are dyes that are extracted from bark of trees, insects, flowers, minerals, rust and other natural materials. Vegetable dyes are a sub-category of natural dyes referring to those that come from plant matter only. For handloom production, yarn is coloured / dyed in the hank form. All MASTANI handloom silks and jacquards are dyed naturally and are free from harsh chemicals.
BANDHINI - Knots of Tradition
The word 'Bandhini' originates from the Sanskrit word "Bandh" which means to tie. This ancient art of tie and dye dates back to Indus valley civilization. The famous 6th century Ajanta Cave paintings show Bandhini dot patterns on garments. The Khatri community in Kutch, Gujarat, produces the finest quality of Bandhini in India. It can take several months to make one Bandhini sari depending upon the intricacy of the design.
Many artisans worktogether to create 6 meters of Bandhini which can have 10,000 to 100,000 knots or more. The painstakingly tied knots open to reveal beautiful designs and colors. The tradition of Bandhini continues to thrive and enrich the textile heritage of India.
MASTANI has worked with Kutch artisans to develop Bandhini in a more contemporary way for AW19 collection. The process is painstaking and took almost a year to complete.
Our Bandhini is done on 100% silk which makes it even harder as originally it could only be done on cotton fabrics due to the grip of tieing.