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A heritage of handweaving

Keeping craft alive

We believe strongly in the need to continue to support an industry and a cloth that provides so much and want to invest in and secure the future of these crafts.

Handwoven and handprinted fabrics have a strong presence in each of our collections. We wanted to maintain their prominence because of its significance to the people throughout its supply chain but also because the skills of these craftspeople allow us to embrace and support a heritage, traditions and skills that are passed down through generations and provide livelihoods to so many.

PICTURED: Briar dress

Handspun, handwoven

Handwoven cloth is not only unique for its gently textured appearance and tactility; the light, handspun fabric allows the skin to breathe and has the ability to keep you cool on warmer days and can be comfortably layered when the autumnal chill sets in.

Helping communities thrive

Craft is a historic and vital sector in India’s economy, providing a source of revenue to millions. Over 3.5 million people in India are engaged in hand spinning and handweaving, and artisans constitute the second largest source of Indian livelihood after agriculture. The production of handspun and handwoven cotton cloth alone brings employment and income to thousands.

The flexibility in the nature of the work means that artisans generally work from their homes in rural settings. Without it, their access to a safe and secure income is severed. Given our long-standing relationships with the artisans across India, we believe very strongly in the need to continue to support an industry and a cloth that provides so much and want to invest in and secure the future of these crafts.

Clean dyeing

The 100% natural fibres used for our handwoven garments are vat dyed in India using non-reactive and non-toxic dyes. The dyeing residues are treated at the same farm site, making full use of the on-site composting facility, which releases the treated water back into the farm’s system to allow it to be safely reused. Once dyed, the fabrics are dried naturally in sunlight and are not treated in any hot chambers.

Hand printing

Our suppliers specialise in hand-block printing, a technique which relies on the steady hand and considered placement of the maker. After printing, the block printed fabrics are dried naturally and kept out in the open air, exposed to sunlight for about 3-4 days depending on the intensity of the print. These finished fabrics are then rolled up and steamed, before being washed and ready for cutting.

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Cutting & Stitching

Each of our handwoven garments are hand cut, being meticulously checked for flaws that may have resulted from their creation. Depending on the complexity of the design, the stitching may be divided between hand and machine – trying as hard as possible to see that each piece is made completely by one person. For this collection we have turned to hand-smocking details, finished by the most skilled and capable sewers.

PICTURED: Briar dress

Interview: Weaving a heritage

We turned to our partners, located in Gurgaon, India to reflect on what it means to produce garments and home textiles by hand such as those they have developed for Bamford; to delve deeper into what inspires them and how they hope to see a respect for craftsmanship survive into the future.

Read the interview