Indian inspiration

The current show at the V&A is a must for all textile designers and anyone who shares a love of fabric and craftsmanship. It was also an excuse to reminisce for me and my two college friends as we'd spent so much time sketching the exhibits at the V&A during our college years. The exhibition contains a stunning range of fabrics which demonstrate the wealth of traditional printing, dyeing and weaving techniques which originate in India.

Photo 2 shows several stages of the dyeing process, using the rich natural resources available in the different regions of India. Namely indigo and the vibrant red madder dye.

I was bowled over by the Bhandani fabrics -  a technique where the dyer pinches tiny areas of cloth and wraps waxed thread around it, creating a resist pattern of tiny dots.

These slow, traditional methods are such a contrast to the industrialisation used in the mass market manufacturing of clothing.