For our first volume we went for two of the most iconic Bengali textile art forms namely wood block printing and traditional Nakshi embroideries.
Jamalpur is like any other district in the great river plains of Bangladesh. It is famous for folk music like ” Jari Gan of Khairun ” , “Ghetu Gan” and “Meyeli Geet” but it is more prominent for another reason, Nakshi Katha embroideries; an art primarily practiced by the women of the region.
Nakshi Kantha’s lineage can be traced back to a time when rural women engaged in this form of craft, not necessarily with an intention of creating “art”, but out of everyday need. They have been doing this for centuries. Now more than ever as the prospect of this art form is immense. Dacca’s maiden expedition was to explore the beautiful hand embroidery works and workers of the region and bring to you our collaboration pieces with these artisans.
Wood Block Print
Woodblock printing on textiles is the process of printing patterns on textiles, usually of linen, cotton or silk, by means of incised wooden blocks. It is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all methods of textile printing. There is evidence that it was practiced as early as the fifth century BC, with actual fragments found from as early as the fifteenth century in India, China and Japan. But the craft bloomed into its most picturesque form in the subcontinent. Dacca just decontextualized this art form into streetwear. Avant Garde much?
Dacca’s design philosophy on the volume 1 was Eastern or Persian aesthetics and motifs. To showcase these motifs Dacca uses a 350-year-old technique of creating floral and geometric prints using hand-carved wood blocks. Once Dacca’s design team has created a print, they pass that motif to a block carver who chips away at the wood until the decorative design is replicated. Printers carefully stamp these designs onto fabric and, block by block, create complex decorative motifs.