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block printing: a holistic handwork

Since the invention of the printing press, the world has changed dramatically. Empires have risen and fallen, religions have evolved and diffused, and ideas have migrated around the world. In the world of clothing, these changes have also been dramatic. Patterns and designs are reproduced with ease; laser printed, jet-printed, even 3D-printed. Although these innovations are exciting, many people find that uniqueness in clothing and fashion is increasingly rare. The intimate intricacies that once made your clothing truly yours have been replaced with an endless array of completely identical products. However beautiful these products may be, these robotic creations are often disconnected from the fundamental spirit of human creativity. Instead of relying on completely computerized modes of production, PAX PHILOMENA partners with a textile mill in India where all of our clothing is crafted by hand using a technique called “block printing.” As a result of this process, each PAX item is entirely unique, gifted with its own special flare to satisfy the individualism of those who wear them. Before any designs are imprinted onto the fabric, every detail of a design is carved into a piece of wood and turned into a “block.” Once these blocks are completed, they are dipped into colored dye and pressed into the previously blank fabric repeatedly until the pattern has been completely transplanted. If a particularly piece of clothing has multiple designs, colors, or a particularly complicated pattern, it requires several stages of block printing where different components of the design are imprinted onto the fabric in cycles. Every piece of PAX PHILOMENA clothing is the result of tremendous dedication and attention to detail. The block printers have developed extraordinary skill through generations of this artful craft to which they bring a sense of purpose and passion into every piece of clothing that we create.