The much anticipated delivery of Arc & Bow's collection Daisy Chain has finally landed and we couldn't be happier with the care and thought in the manufacturing of each item.
As you know already, transparency is vital for us. We wanted to share a little bit more about the manufacturing of Daisy Chain and where it was manufactured too.
Shari has been a vital part of our manufacturing transition from China to India. She's the founder and director of the factory. She has taught us a lot and continues to do so, while manufacturing our goods in Jaipur fairly and supporting artisans in her community too.
Have a read of our interview with Shari; learn more about her passions and what she stands for in her community, along with the production and print process of Daisy Chain.
Firstly, how are you?
What are your passions?
my family, India, working with artisans, textiles, organic food, travel
Why did you decide to start a manufacturing plant and what were your motivations?
We already had an artisan, hand block print based brand with manufacturing in Jaipur and felt we needed to become the manufacturing company we couldn't find to make our own brand and for other brands. We wanted to ensure our manufacturing was fair trade and focused on artisan textiles.
Specifically to the daisy chain collection, can you talk us through the process from print to completion?
The first step is to make the patterns and fit samples for approval. Once those are completed, we order the organic cotton fabric, dye it, print by hand screen printing, then we cut through the layers, sew, quality check, pack and ship.
Can you tell us more about the print and dye process for Daisy Chain?
The fabric is dyed within our dyeing and block printing facility. The dyes are AZO free, low impact dyes. First we do a swatch check for color matching. Then, dyeing is done on small machines which have 2 rollers and a dye vat below--the fabric is run back and forth through the dye vat multiple times until the correct color is achieved. Dyed fabrics are washed and hung on bamboo drying racks.
Next the fabric is sent to our screen printer who we contract with. We have known them for many years--they also print for a number of well-known brands and have been approved through third party audits for ethical labor standards for working with their other international customers.
Can you tell us more about Screen Printing and what it involves and specific skills the printer requires?
Screen printing is done on slanted concrete tables. The tables are waxed, the fabric laid across and smoothed down with wood blocks. The screens (one screen per colour) are washed, the dyes are mixed and adjusted to match pantone shades. The dye is held in the tray area of the screen, the screen placed over the fabric and 2 men, one on each side of the table pull a squeegie with the dye across the surface of the screen which makes the print impression onto the fabric. They do alternating meters across the 50 meter length of the table and then go back the other direction doing the other set of alternating meters. The artisans who do the screen printing come from villages to do the work and are trained within that company specifically.
Generally however, aside from mixing the colours, screen printing is not highly skilled in the same way in which block printing is and so allows less skilled or educated artisans a chance at a full-time job.
Can you Tell us the impacts of choosing organic materials, artisan printing and fair labour have on your immediate community and wider community?
Choosing organic materials reduced the carbon footprint, is safer for the environment and the farm workers handling the cotton. We support artisan printing as it is small scale and leaves a smaller footprint and provides jobs to artisans, and in the case of block printing, keeps a heritage craft alive. We are committed to fair labor as it is the only ethical way to do business. We cannot see any other way other than to pay living wages, treat people with respect and promote good relations and transparency in the supply chain.
What are the top 5 most important things to you?
being kind and fair minded, loving my family, taking care of our business and the people who work for us, good food, being in nature
If you want to find out anymore information about our manufacturing process, click here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org