My name is Jane and I am a founder and creator of the slow fashion brand AUROBELLE .
It has been my passion and deepest love to play and work with special textiles since I was very young. My personal path has been so fortunate that i was able to travel a lot and to live in many different countries .
By far i was feeling most at home and inspired in INDIA. It has been a love story at first sight and still we are together..
I started to make dresses more than 20 years ago, first in Goa where I created my first collection 1999 , searching for new fabrics I was visiting many markets in Delhi and Mumbai , but I was not happy to work in this big cities, so one day I came to Rajasthan to the pink city of Jaipur and this was when my passion for Hand block printing started. You may ask yourself ?
WHAT IS BLOCK PRINTING AND WHAT MAKES IT SO SPECIAL?
Block printing is an ancient textile tradition that originated in the Rajasthan Desert region of India centuries ago. It involves stamping designs onto fabric by hand using intricately carved wooden blocks. Block printing is a labor-intensive, painstaking process which requires time, teamwork and a tremendous level of skill. For example, it can take five carvers up to three days to create a pattern in a printing block. And the printers may use as many as thirty blocks to complete one design!
Despite competition from faster and cheaper methods of textile design, block printing has resisted industrialization throughout the years and is still done without any mechanization. It has endured in popularity because of its natural feel and its ability to achieve a three-dimensional, artistic aura which is difficult to replicate in machine-made and mass-produced
What is a block printing?
Block printing is a method of dying and creating patterns on fabric using hand carved blocks. These blocks are then dipped into dye and stamped onto fabric – meters upon meters of intricate patterns. Such craftsmanship is usually practiced by multiple generations, going back few hundreds of years: children learn the art of block printing from their parents, their parents from theirs – it’s like a golden thread of family art, livelihood, creativity, skill. India is known for the heights of such art due to abundance of natural dyes made from plants and minerals – many of the techniques are still held as a secret. Here the importance of community, tribes and indigenous traditions takes the place – only by preserving, respecting, working together rather than abusing the knowledge – such art can be preserved, communities can stay intact, the trade can flourish. In the little villages where such art is still a part of livelihood, Varna system (totally different from casteism perverted by colonizers) is very apparent – everyone has his own job in the process: someone is designated to dye fabric, someone’s sole purpose is to bleach the fabric in the sun, and someone does the block printing. This is a cultural heritage, a live organism with its functions, wisdom, skill and dedication.
It is not a secret that the tribal art of textiles and block printing was hugely affected by colonization and a lot of knowledge was destroyed, family traditions and craftmanship going back to hundreds and sometimes even thousands of years have almost been wiped out, however today we witness a beautiful inspiring change – genuine art is coming back, its rising together with its communities, more and more labels are starting to pay more and more attention where the fabrics are coming from, who is painting them, what it stands for.
Aurobelle Ibiza is dedicated to the community – we honor the roots of this craft, we take pride in people we work with, we are inspired by indigenous knowledge and we aim to support it. Ethical fashion is the only way forward, the only sustainable choice for us as a community.
I salute you, dear Mother India!
The three main tools of block printing are the wooden blocks, the fabric and the dye:
- Raw fabric is first washed to remove starch and then bleached in a gentle solution.
- Once bleached, it is hung up on tall bamboo frames to dry in the hot desert sun.
- The blocks are made from teak wood by trained craftsmen. Designs are traced onto the surface and then carved with a hammer and chisel.
- Each block is made with a wooden handle and several small holes to release air and excess dye. It is soaked in oil for 10-15 days before use to soften the grains of the timber.
- Colors are mixed in a separate room from the printing. They are then kept on a tray which the printer drags along as he works.
- In preparation for printing, the cotton fabric is stretched tightly over the printing tables and fastened with pins to avoid wrinkles and movement.
- When printing begins, artisans first print the outline of the design. This is usually done by the most experienced printer, as the outline leads the whole process and must be very precise.
- The rest of the team then fills in the colors with the various "fill" blocks.
- Once printed, the swaths of fabric are hung to dry in the sun before a final wash.
WHY I CALL MY WORK SLOW FASHION?
If you’re new to the ethical/sustainable/slow fashion scene, you’ve undoubtedly heard these words being used and have probably wondered what the difference between all of these things are. You may have even noticed that sometimes, what one person or company considers ethical is quite different than another’s version of it’s definition. So let’s clear up any confusion right off the bat: there is no real, universal definition for “ethical fashion”, while there is a more or less stable understanding of what sustainable fashion and slow fashion means.
Sustainable Fashion: This refers to the effects of the production of clothing on the environment. This includes the use of pesticides in growing cotton, other natural, sustainable fabrics, the dyes used for various colours, water and waste treatment, energy reduction, using recycled materials, and sometimes even packaging. The list of opportunities to be a more sustainable fashion brand goes on and on.
Slow Fashion: This generally refers to the style, design and quality of the garment, as well as the intention behind how it was made (a.k.a. – not a fast fashion brand). It involves buying clothing made of durable fabrics and staying away from fluctuating trends so you can still wear the pieces you love years down the road.
But what’s ethical fashion? I have my own personal definition, which is this:
Ethical Fashion: This refers to how the clothing was made, encompassing everything from how the cotton was grown to how the garment workers who made the clothes are treated and paid, their safety (no sweatshops, child labour, worker abuse, or slavery involved).
Sometimes, sustainable fashion and animal treatment is also included under the “ethical fashion” umbrella, which is also a completely reasonable way to define it. Is caring for the environment rather than producing ridiculous amounts of waste ethical? Of course. Is treating animals with respect and dignity when using their products (i.e. wool, silk, etc.) and ethical issue? Definitely.
Still, I like to differentiate between these because I want to be as specific as possible when I talk or write about it. For example, if I was talking about fashion that focused on animal treatment, I would probably call it “vegan fashion”, unless you’re referring specifically to something along the lines of peace silk.
So here’s a quick little summary:
Ethical Fashion – concerns human rights.
Sustainable Fashion – concerns the environment.
Slow Fashion – concerns the clothing piece itself.
we at AUROBELLE work since many years with highest quality textiles, we mostly work with woman to empower there live.
we are on family here , paying fair wages in best working condition .
HOW AUROBELLE IS WORKING !
For us at Aurobelle it has always been about more than making fast made fashions .
From the beginning, 25 years ago our journey has been one of love and family, through which a community of women around the world who share a love for hand made craft and a slower pace of life has grown.
The clothes we wear become a manifestation of the world we want to create, and through the choices we make, we can change it to the better .
Which is why slow and ethical fashion have always been at the core of everything we do at AUROBELLE.
Produced using organic fabrics, our block print collection builds upon the ancient tradition of hand printed fabrics using natural, plant based pigments and hand craved wooden blocks .
We work hand in hand with a group of women in Rajasthan to collaboratively produce limited collections of hand-block printed fabrics,and empower each other .
Each time I go to India I meet with them for for hours of creating , laugher and sharing a life .This is is a gift of working with small communities- you not only participate in creating a slow fashion brand , but you firm a long lasting friendship .
I watch and learn the mastery of block printing , dying the fabrics with natural colors and so creating something so special which can not be repeated .
Aurobelle promotes a synergy between design, development and sustainability, inspiring good fair trade practices and the continued revitalisation of traditional skills so they can survive .
Working with the same group of woman not only provides a reliable job , but also helps to boost their confidence and create a level for independence for them .
Our aim is to create beautiful special garments in the most ethnically and environmentally conscious way possible and support artisanal practices around the world,
Thank you for being part of the AUROBELLE family and supporting this way of life .
Together we can do it .💙