Many moons ago, when I first started buying and selling vintage clothes, I first came across, and totally fell in love with, Anokhi dresses and jackets from the 70s. The aptly named Anokhi - Hindi for unique - create the most beautiful textiles, using traditional, centuries old methods of block printing with natural dyes.
I love that Anokhi and others are still helping to keep these ancient traditions alive. Each printed piece is hand crafted by local craftspeople local to Jaipur. The skill involved is quite extraordinary, from the intricate carving of the wooden blocks that make up each layer of the print, to the precision with which they're applied to the cotton. The dyes are made from natural substances, for example the black colour comes from mixing scrap iron, molasses and water, blue is from natural indigo.
In this age of mass produced fast fashion, Anokhi's ethos is just such a welcome antidote. These clothes and fabrics are made to be appreciated and cherished for a long time. I love the thought of wearing a piece that is unique, printed by hand. I love to admire the skill with which it has been made and appreciate the beauty of its design. Long may these traditions continue. I hope one day to visit Jaipur, see the processes first hand and check out the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. It's top of the bucket list. Have you been? If so, do share your experience in the comments x
We always try to keep a stock of Anokhi clothes. Here's our latest stock, ready to be appreciated all over again
photos: stock photos (not attributed to Anokhi)