T H E   B E A U T Y   O F   B L O C K    P R I N T I N G

W I T H   S O   S O U K

We were particularly smitten with their own range of handblock printed textiles, including pyjamas with matching cosmetic bags, as well as tableware. We eagerly wanted to know more.

This is the fourth in our our series of interviews with Jo Peppiatt and Petina Martin from artisan lifestyle boutique So Souk. Jo and Petina specialise in bringing us the skills of master artisans from across the globe, providing us with beautiful and unique modern pieces for the home and garden.

After travelling to India and learning from local artists about the ancient art of block printing fabric by hand, Jo and Petrina soon realised they wanted to work with these craftsmen and women. And so, their sleepware and homeware range was born... a stunning collection of matching textile items, each sewn by hand and handprinted in gorgeous pastel colours.

"It's often easy for us to forget that while we are busy dashing about here in the UK, all our wonderful artisans are hard at work in Jaipur producing our beautiful products for us. All our textiles are made using fabric that has been handblocked and then stitched into our pyjamas, bath bags and bedding."

C R A F T E D   B Y   H A N D

"Block printing is a skilled and lengthy process and sometimes many layers of colour have to be built up to get the finished design. We always forget this when we are desperate for our new collection to arrive! Slow and sustainable is so much better isn’t it?"

Talking to Jo and Petina about their journey of discovery into the world of Indian block printing, it became very clear that both women are highly appreciative of the skill and work that goes into the process.

Even their Instagram feed is full of loving appreciation posts, reminding their followers of the craftsmanship required to accomplish these unique pieces.

"Sadly, we haven't yet had a chance to try block printing, but we would absolutely love to go and do that on one of our trips if we could. We are always very time-short, so we tend to run out quite often on trips. We have all these great plans that don't always come to fruition! So that would be something we would love to do on another visit to India."

W H Y   B L O C K   P R I N T I N G ?

Here at KLIMCHI, we know that cafting something by hand tells a story that is forever captured within the finished the piece. And the same can be said about So Souk's collection of handblocked textiles. Each pattern, from pineapples and peacocks to cloves and sprigs, has a unique story to tell. But, have Jo and Petrina had a chance to have a go at block printing themselves?

There's some debate as to when block printing began, but there are examples of antique printed cloths from Northern India that date back to the 3rd century CE.

A N    A N C I E N T   A R T

The first step in block printing involves carving the wooden block with the intricate pattern you would like to see repeated across your fabric. The finished carved block is then brushed lightly with the desired colour of ink and the block is then carefully pressed down onto the fabric. The number of blocks required for a pattern depends on the number of colours and layers needed. 

Based in Jaipur, So Souk's block printing artisans still use these same ancient techniques to create their homeware collections.

M I X   A N D   M A T C H

"How would we choose between them? We've designed a collection that can all be mixed and matched together and that's the beauty of handblocked fabrics. You can just mix and match them. We very much stick to the same colour palette, like pinks, greens, blues and possibly little bit of grey in there. So we hope that you can mix and match all of them together."

With so many patterns and colours of handblocked items available on So Souk's website, we asked Jo and Petina what their advice would be for choosing between them all?

S O   S O U K   

I N T E R V I E W   S E R I E S 

This is the fourth story in a short series of five talks we had with Jo Peppiatt and Petina Martin from So Souk.

You can find @SoSouk on Instagram or at 
www.sosouk.co.uk

Watch this space for more stories with Jo and Petina.