Today officially marks the start of Summer: a great time to refresh and add some colour to your home. So if you’re searching for seasonal accessories to brighten your outdoor or indoor space then hunt no more: our collection of hand block printed homewares will have you dreaming of long lazy, hazy Summer days and they’re perfect for adding a touch of hand crafted beauty to any interior. Mixing and matching block print with textiles of different colours and textures creates an individual, relaxed style. Our block printed products are created for us in Jaipur using traditional block printing techniques (as tried and tested by ibbi co-founders Eliza and Anna on their travels through Rajasthan earlier this year!) If you love our table linen, quilts and home accessories then we thought you might like to see a little about how they are made:
ibbi co-founder Eliza: block printing in Jaipur
And ibbi co-founder Anna block printing too!
The process of block printing has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years, introduced by the Chhipa community from the village of Bagru, an area now famous for its vegetable dye block printing. The physical Sheesham wooden blocks are meticulously carved by hand, with each colour in the design carved in a separate block. The outline block or the ‘rekh’ is usually the most intricate. Once the colours have been chosen and have been poured in to wooden trays, the process of stamping the pattern on to the stretched cotton fabric begins. Each colour pattern is stamped on to the fabric individually by the Printing Master and the tiny irregularities, the subtle gaps or overlaps are a beautiful reminder of the intricate process of creating this iconic product. The block printing villages are renowned for the rhythmic ‘tock-tock’ sound of the wood blocks stamping patterns on to fabric. A wonderful reminder to all visitors of the significance of this stunning artisan work.
It may be essential for energy, health and a lifetime of happiness but getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. When it comes to proper shut eye, we all know we’re supposed get plenty of good sleep and avoid snoozing, but sadly for most of us it’s not always easy.. and often, the harder you try to still your mind and count the sheep, the worse it gets. So read on: perhaps some, or all of the following, may just help you get a better night’s sleep:
Sniff lavender: the calming scent will help you relax and bring on the zzzzzs by decreasing your heart rate and your blood pressure. And keep it dark: if your bedroom’s not a pitch black place then find a comfortable eye mask and block out any annoying light
Limit your caffeine intake after 3pm and if you can, steer well clear of it after 12. Easier said than done!
Eat 3 hours before you plan to head to bed. Sleep’s not easy if you’re too full or too hungry
Meditate: still your mind, switch off your brain
Switch off your screens too: no phones, no laptops. Light emitting from screens apparently can disrupt the production of melatonin and ruin your sleep
Exercise: it will definitely help you sleep more soundly
Read a good book to still your mind: let your brain know it’s time to unwind
De stress, stretch out, try some yoga or simply try some progressive muscle relaxation once you’re tucked up in bed: clench your muscles for a few seconds then relax. Start at your toes and work your way up!
Keep fluffy pets out of the bedroom..not easy for some..but the fewer late night disturbances the better..
Last but not least: have a hot bath before bed: raise your body temperature a degree or two and then keep your bedroom cool (around 60 degrees is ideal). Throw the window open, keep your hands and feet warm (wear socks if necessary) and keep the bedding light. A cotton sheet and a cotton quilt is great..it keeps you more comfortable and feels fabulous against your skin too.
Sleep well… And Happy Valentines Day!
All ibbi pure Indian cotton hand block printed quilts and throws are now 25% off until Sunday 19th February 2017.
Mrs Das (2nd from right) and some of her magnificent team pictured here next to Rita (far right).
In lush green peaceful countryside several hours South of Kolkata lives the wonderful Mrs Sagarika Das. She is responsible for the talented team of ladies in her village who hand stitch our ibbi throws and beautifully embroidered one-off pieces. Accompanied by Rita (representative of our favourite fair trade organisation in Kolkata), we visit Mrs Das and her team regularly on our trips to India and after talking through the designs and colours of our new home accessories, we always look forward to a spectacular lunch which we all enjoy together on the rooftop of her home. Here on the cool rooftop is where the ladies will sew for 4 or 5 hours together each day, before they leave to pick up their children from school. They will then continue to sew in their own homes in the evenings. Being part of a fair trade organisation allows these talented women to stay in their village and Mrs Das always tells us how their fine textile work has boosted their confidence and given them all such a sense of pride. If you’ve seen our throws you’ll know how immaculate their work is. Our new collections of throws will be arriving later this month. Do look out for them!
100% of the profit from our ibbi100 products goes straight to the Magic Bus projects which support some of India’s poorest slum children. And this month we’d like to offer you our ibbi100 super vibrant Indian cotton aprons, napkins and tablecloths, in either stunning turquoise or fuschia pink.
Spring is here! What better way to transform the character of your table than by adding pots of fresh Spring flowers straight from the garden and glorious splashes of colour with vibrant table linen. Our tablecloths and napkins are great for mixing and matching and over time take on a fabulous faded charm. And why not have fun round the table this Easter with your own table napkin challenge? Napkin fold away to your heart’s content and let your imagination run wild: create Easter bunnies, pointy hats, cuddly hens or pretty flowers. And there’s always beautiful triangles for the more artistically challenged!
You might also like our no-nonsense waist aprons, made from finest Keralan cotton. Wear them, wash them, hang them out in the sunshine to dry. The more they’re used, the better they get. Perfect for busy bakers and teenagers eager to help in the kitchen this Easter!