On Indigo Island we're always looking to the horizon. Our design process, from first pencil drawings to finished collection, takes many months of development.
We draw inspiration from the colours and shapes that surround us, always taking photographs and squirrelling ideas. Pencil on paper at the drawing board is where these begin to take shape. The next step is to transfer the image to the computer, playing with how it could look as a repeated pattern, which is at the heart of the block printing process.
Once we feel a design has potential we commission a wooden block to be carved by our craftsmen in Jaipur. Typically we will create twenty blocks at a time in unique designs.
Finessing the colour palette is equally as important as the design. Using Pantone swatches we fine tune the tone of each design, aspiring to combine the subtle with the bold; diverse yet complementary.
Now the sampling process can begin!
It’s exciting to watch our team of artisans mixing colours by eye, as they match to our Pantone swatches. With the colour perfected, the blocks are first dipped in the dye, then placed and pressed by hand, repeatedly, across yards of the finest cotton. The extraordinary precision of these craftsmen is mesmerising, the new collection beginning to emerge thanks to their remarkable skill, honed over centuries of tradition.
With the printing complete we draw up a shortlist from approximately two hundred swatches with perhaps forty design/colour combinations now graduating to the sample shirt stage.
Only with the finished garment in front of us, can we decide whether or not it becomes part of our new collection. Sometimes the design or colour of a swatch we initially loved just doesn’t work as a shirt. So we learn and we refine, always striving to improve. Always looking to the horizon.