We all love
Block prints, don’t we? The bright, beautiful splurge of colors and patterns depicting the rich culture and diversities across India including the block-print, Kantha Stitch, Phulkari, or Kalamkari makes us want to horde a few more even though our closets give us a warning alert!
Well, jokes aside, these prints are so alluring and eye-catching that we just can’t resist buying them. The major issue faced is the maintenance of the fabric as each fabric and dyes have their own intricacy – colour bleeding, fading of cloth, colour flushing, and if not taken care of sometimes colour transfers.
Do’s and Don’ts for your Hand-Printed Fabrics
Well, after trying several methods and then finally asking my mom, who is always my savior. I am writing down a few do’s and don’ts for Hand dyed fabrics.
- Separate dark and light shades: We should not only separate darker shades from lighter shades but also, wash similar shades together. Like dark blue can go with black but don’t assume mixing red and black as it may end in disaster with your cloth being turned from red to muddy brown. Ajarakh, Bagru, Batik tends to bleed and should be washed separately.
- Use Salt: If you want to keep your colored clothes from bleeding during the wash, give them a dose of salt. The salt helps to set the colour into the fabric. This keeps the colour from fading while you are washing the garment. Use salt both before you wash your clothes and in the washer to get the maximum benefit. You can add ¼ cup of salt in 1 bucket of water or add 1-1.5 teaspoons of salt in your washer with the detergent and you will be good to go.
- Cold and Gentle Cycle. Read the instructions carefully, most of the hand-dyed fabrics required hand-wash but even if recommended machine wash, your cycle should be cold and gentle. Excessive heat may lead to fading and shrinkage.
- Never leave wet clothes lying in the washing machine. The longer brightly coloured, wet clothes are in contact with each other, the more chance there is for some of the colours to transfer.
- Dry in Low Heat: When it comes to drying coloured clothes, you can either tumble-dry them on a low setting (again, high heat can cause fading) or hang them up in the sun inside-out or dry them in shade to avoid fading of cloth.
- No Brushing on Gold Prints: Gold prints on cloth don’t bleed but brushing cloth while washing may damage the embossed motifs.
- Ironing at Moderate Temperature: Iron the cloth at a moderate temperature and Inside -out to avoid direct heat on embossed motifs.
Hand Block Prints clothes can be difficult to maintain and you may become exhausted at times because of the extra hard work that they bring along, but if your love for Indian crafts is immense then this will be totally worth it.