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Journal

Honing it - the centuries of skills that go into our designs

Honing it - the centuries of skills that go into our designs

Have you heard the phrase, 'you're not paying me for the hour it takes to do the job, but for the years of training it took me to do the job in an hour'?

With each trip to India I appreciate on a deeper and deeper level the years of skill it takes to consistently create the textures and designs that our artisans handcraft for us. From the placing of the hand-block prints with laser precision - purely by eye, to the hand-quilted kantha stitching that embellishes our vintage jackets and quilts.

The muscle memory that our bodies are able to develop through years and years of honing a skill is mesmerising to me; I always try my hand at any new technique that we are utilising in our designs so I can really appreciate the workmanship that goes into it and after a morning hand-block printing I always leave with a renewed respect for how hard it is, and how utterly effortless they make it look!

Working with third or fourth generation artisans amplifies this incredible skill-set even further, we are working with artisans who have grown up watching their fathers and grandfathers, their mothers and their grandmothers honing their craft. Rather than a sense of family obligation there is a real feeling of pride and creative inspiration that is drawn from the heritage of their craft. Something I feel very lucky to be able to showcase through our designs.

And that's exactly how I want Dilli Grey to be seen by you - as a showcase of our artisans incredible talents. We visit and explore and work collaboratively with skilled weavers, tailors, printers and craftspeople and the starting point is always, "how can we utilise their incredible heritage skills in our designs?"

Back in London in our design studio, my job as creative director is to take these ancient crafts and reimagine them in a modern way for the next generation - how can we turn a 100 year old botanical print into something that feels relevant to our audience now? Something they'll want to wear, or have in their homes and TREASURE. Just as our artisans have taken years to perfect their skills, we want the designs we put out into the world to honour those years and be pieces of clothing or homewares that are truly loved.

Over the next few months as our new collections start to arrive I will be sharing more about the artisans and our latest designs - as always, if you have any questions about our ethical production or sustainability practices - please ask, I am always available on vickie@dilligrey.com

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