Our Commitment to Responsible Design
Here at Pukka Print, we want to share our journey with you so that you have a transparent insight into the products we create and the brand itself. Our story is one of conscious creativity, a passion for craft and a pledge to improve. We understand that everything we make has an impact and that’s why we want to be transparent with you. We want you to know how our fabrics are made, from beginning to end, giving you the confidence, and honest evaluation, you deserve. We want you to know that in choosing Pukka Print, you are investing in a brand that is doing its best to adapt, reduce its carbon footprint and work towards a greener and more sustainable future.
We know we aren’t perfect, but we are dedicated to learning, evolving, and helping to support those who work alongside us to have the same commitment to change.
This page will be updated annually giving you an in-depth analysis of how we produce our textiles, details on the craft itself with a spotlight on the amazing talents of the artisans we work with. This way, through open and honest communication, we want to reassure you that while we celebrate the art form of traditional block printing, we are devoted to being a part of a greener future for the wider textiles industry.
Supporting Heritage Crafts
The heart of Pukka Print is centred around a love for the craft of Indian block printing itself and the tradition behind it. With many of our printers being the third or fourth generation of their family to undertake the craft, we are passionate to ensure such skillsets are handed down to future generations.
Working with the same Jaipur studio since we launched the brand, we are excited to bring this craft to a global audience, allowing the world to fall in love with it as much as we have. With a pattern taking three artisans one day to print 15metres, the meticulous attention to detail which goes into each design is second to none. Our fabrics are created with longevity and quality in mind to ensure these treasures will last for years to come, both practically and from an aesthetic viewpoint.
Using hand-carved wooden blocks from native Sheesham wood, the intricate designs are placed by hand onto the fabric to create the patterns. Works of art themselves, the blocks are reused for every print run with each design using between two to fifteen different carvings. Most patterns need an average of 5 blocks. For more intricate patterns, brass blocks are used for the outlines.
The blocks are soaked in mustard oil for a week to prevent the wood from drying out and cracking, with tiny holes drilled into the surface to allow for breathing. This ensures the blocks can be used for a longer period, reducing the need for replacements. We partner with a block carver local to the workshop who creates the designs by hand. All block designs are unique to Pukka Print.
Sampling and Materials
Fabric offcuts are used for the sampling process and, once the patterns and colours have been confirmed, we use no more than 5m of fabric to cut into small sample swatches which we keep as a reference.
Our linens are machine woven in Bangalore and purchased through a wholesaler in Jaipur. We use pigment inks supplied from Archroma, whose commitment to sustainability can be seen here.
Each design is printed in small batches by hand. The skilful artisans we work with place each block precisely by hand, using their trained eye and wealth of experience. These human practices bring the prints to life with an inherent dynamism that cannot be replicated by machine, therefore using less energy to produce.
The sound of printing is mesmerising, as the rhythm of hands pressing down the block creates an audible and visible landscape while the patterns begin to take shape with colour. It is beautiful to witness the skill of the woodcarvers translating the design initially, which is then transferred onto the linen through the careful hands of the printers.
Our workshop uses minimum water and any used is recycled through the Common Effluent Treatment Plant which is part of the development. Water is used for making the colours and washing the colour buckets, blocks, and ink trays. Huge tanks are stored underground for rainwater harvesting during the Monsoon season. As previously mentioned, we use Archroma pigment inks and a binder which is made up of 80% water and 20% binder.
The workshop has been granted a ‘Consent to Operate’ certificate from the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board.
In the workshop itself, cloths are used for padding the tables which are then recycled and repurposed alongside scraps of the fabrics, thanks to the skills of the sewing team. They create bags and cushion covers to their own designs using the surplus and waste fabrics they salvage.
We understand the logistics of our fabrics is a work in progress and we are doing our best to work within the global systems available and those that make financial sense for the company.
Once the 10m lengths of fabric are printed, they are rolled onto cardboard tubes, packed, and sent to our UK distribution warehouse in Petersfield via air freight. Our minimum order with the Jaipur workshop is 50m per pattern/colourway and we try to ensure each order is as efficient as possible. Our UK logistics supplier is UPS.
Our distribution centre is also committed to reducing its impact where possible. Storing our fabrics and distributing them for us, the team cut each order and pack it onto a cardboard tube which can be recycled through most waste recycling schemes. The roll is then packaged into a wrap made from post- consumer waste which protects the fabric from being damaged. 93% of waste is recycled and the company is trialling new materials such as potato starch wraps and alternatives for vinyl tape.
We have reduced our own travel to India to 1-2 times a year, with the flights now being offset each time through Gold Standard Marketplace. We can minimise travel by designing collections digitally, so much of the creative process is achieved online.
In the UK, our textile designer works remotely which, again, reduces the need for travel.
Texcraft Park is a 23-acre development where the workshop is situated, in Bagru, southwest of Jaipur. It is the result of a collaboration between Jaipur Block, the EC funded SWITCH Asia Project (Sustainable Textiles for Sustainable Development) and the Indian government’s ‘Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks’.
The development houses different block- printing units using a Common Effluent Treatment Plan (CETP) which harvests and recycles water, while promoting socially responsible health and safety standards in the production process.
The CETP recovers over 80% of the wastewater from textile processes, returning it to the system for use in dyeing, printing, and washing. The system can treat 0.5 million litres of effluent per day. Added to this, each manufacturing unit will be installing individual effluent treatment plants to recycle as much water as possible independently too, reducing demand on the central water supply.
The Park also has a sewage treatment plant which recovers water from sewage lines, treating it and reusing it in the sewage system. Excess water from this will be used for landscape irrigation.
Our own workshop managers are key stakeholders in this initiative.
The workshop has forty employees who are all full-time, salaried staff. They each receive
the mandatory employee state accident and health insurance for themselves and their family. A free bus is provided every morning and evening which has three drop off points for the staff. Most live within a 10-15 km radius and 25 of the 40 staff members use this service.
The workshop itself has high standards with a recent government inspection only noting one
minor signage issue. The working day runs from 9.30am to 5.30pm with two 15-minute tea breaks and a 45-minute lunch break. Lunch can be enjoyed outside in a garden plot next to the workshop.
Our London showroom is Tissus d’Helene, located in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre. We are also stocked in Wells Abbott (Houston, Dallas, and Chicago), Jules et Jim (Paris) and EC Collective (Australia).
Each showroom holds sample lengths and small swatches of every current fabric for our interior design clientele. Once orders are placed with the showroom, Pukka Print will fulfil the order accordingly. We currently have 30 patterns and a total of 86 fabrics which is growing to 100 fabrics in 2022.
We want to continue growing our business in the most responsible manner possible.
As you can see, our block-printed textiles are produced in small batches by hand. Each design is a result of a passion and love for the craft itself and we hope this translates to you as you engage with the fabrics for yourselves.
By offering you a deeper insight into the world of Pukka Print, we want you to be a part of our journey by discussing ideas and innovation with us directly. We are committed to a future where learning, improving, and adapting are key values for us, knowing that together, with our partners and our clients, we can contribute towards a positive future for all.