LCW 19: Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

 

Ever since I became interested in indigo dyeing a few years ago, I noticed that the resurgence of natural indigo is also taking place around the world. The art and science of natural indigo dyeing is an important world heritage that connects us all, and its timely revival reminds us that this ancient art/craft is universal as it has been practised in different parts of the world for centuries and even millennia.

The Blue Innovations exhibition at the Czech Centre London that showcased the established craftsmanship of indigo textile-printing production in the Czech Republic. Prior to the visit, I did not realise that traditional indigo printing techiniques have been integral to Czech culture for centuries and are listed as UNESCO‘s lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that contemporary Czech fashion designers are now using traditioanl indigo printing techniques to produce beautiful and high quality handmade clothing and soft furnishings.

 

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints  Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

 

The small exhibition was curated by Alice Klouzková, a Czech fashion designer and curator who has collaborated with many Czech indigo craftsmen, and is determined to revive this ancient craft in her country and introduce it to audience abroad.

Sadly, there are only two remaining wood block printing workshops in the Czech Republic, in Olesnice and Straznice. Their techniques and formulas were inherited from father to son and were kept as family secrets. Now younger Czech fashion designers are working with these workshops and incoporating indigo dyed patterned prints into their designs to produce more sustainable and unique items. These designers include Monika Drapalova, Martina Dvořáková (MADE BY ORDINARY), Adéla Součková, and artist Petra (Gupta) Valentová etc.

 

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints  Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

Blue Innovations: Contemporary Czech Indigo Prints

 

The revival of natural indigo dyeing around the globe is far from a coincidence. It is part of the sustainable fashion and slow movements that are driven by designers, artisans, craftsmen, curators, and many consumers who are rejecting the fast fashion industry. Now is the time for all of us to reflect and go back to the basics, and I salute all those who are swimming against the tide to make this change happen.

 


This post was posted in London, Exhibitions, Fashion, Contemporary craft, Design, Textiles, indigo dyeing, blockprinting and was tagged with London, art and design exhibitions, fashion, contemporary crafts, indigo dyeing, sustainability, block printing, London Craft Week, Czech design

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