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Indian Love Affair

Nervous. That was the answer I gave when people asked if I was excited about my pending trip. I felt ridiculous. I've been to over 40 countries, lived in several, and generally am pretty street smart. India scared me though. I'd put if off for many years for fear of going alone. It seemed to get so much bad press, rape, robbery, scams, hassle and Delhi belly. It just seemed like hard work travel. Not like SE Asia or Europe. The colours in images always dazzled me, luring me to come. That and my textile obsession. Any print I fell in love with, any delicate cotton or the lightest cashmere - India. Always India. My mother decided to join on...

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Cashmere from Kashmir!

Kashmir is the Northernmost part of India, an area that's been embroiled in a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India. Cashmere is an older name for the region of Kashmir.  It's beyond my scope of knowledge to comment on the politics of the region. Rather I'll talk about a fibre I know and love - Cashmere. My relatives are sheep farmers in country NSW, Australia, and I grew up spending Christmas holidays playing in shearing sheds, causing trouble no doubt! I loved watching the process of "creating" wool. From bottle feeding rejected lambs to sheep being rounded up and shorn. I didn't however enjoy wearing wool. My mother instilled in me a love of natural fibres and to this day...

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Block Printing

When I thought of block printing, the image that came to mind was a chopped up potato, dipped in paint in kindergarten. The techniques used in India are a little more sophisticated. Workers hand carve wood to make prints and one by one make a pattern on stretches of fabric. It's incredible to watch the speed with which they work. I love the impefect nature of block printing, the small "mistakes" where the lines don't quite match up. It is here that block printing becomes an art for me. So much of the colour and pattern in our lives, be it fashion to tea-towels are designed on a computer and printed by a machine. There is no individuality in that. I...

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