Rob Ryan for NV London CalcuttaPosted by on Thursday 15th May, 2014
I am very excited to announce that Rob has collaborated once again with NV London Calcutta to produce a new silk scarf. Rob decided to adapt his papercut piece ‘I Always Said That I’d Do Anything For You’ from his show at Sims Reed Gallery last year ‘There Is Only Time’ for the new scarf.
Rob worked closely with Naomi Cornelius-Reid, the Founder of NV London Calcutta to create the scarf. This is the fourth silk scarf he has created in collaboration with NV.
NV London Calcutta are an award-winning, ethical accessories company who aim to bridge the gap between high fashion and traditional ethical working methods. They produce entirely handmade fashion accessories that are designed in Britain and created in Calcutta. Their products are not only unique in design but also in the story behind them too. This is the perfect opportunity to give you an never-been-seen-before look at how the scarves are made in Calcutta, West Bengal.
The silk used for the scarves is 100% hand produced in a village in West Bengal called Murshidabad, on the Bangladeshi border. The people there have been weaving silk for generations and the whole village gets involved at various stages of the process, taking silk cocoons right the way through to hand loomed bolts of cloth. The workshop travels to Murshiabad and buys the silk at market prices which means the villagers don’t have to go to the bother and expense of taking the overnight train it to Calcutta to sell their cloth.
The print workshop is on the outskirts of Calcutta and is a family business which has been running for three generations. They traditionally hand screenprint the scarves, using only a small amount of modern day technology; a computer to create the negatives for the screens, to ensure our artwork is represented exactly as we send it.
The screen is hand crafted and stretched by the villagers on a wooden frame. The silk is stuck down to the print tables using bees wax, not industrial vacuums like most modern print studios.
The dye is hand mixed without any harmful AZO chemicals and the printed silk is hung from the ceiling to dry naturally. To fix the colour the silk is rolled up and steamed over high heat. Finally it is trimmed down to size and hand edge rolled and stitched by a cooperative of ladies in the village, ready to send back to the UK for sale.
When the scarves arrive at Ryantown HQ they are each folded neatly into their own special box, included in the box is a insert with a small explanation about the collaboration, detailing how your scarf has been made and is signed by Rob too. Each box is then wrapped in tissue ready to be sold. The scarves will be coming soon and I will post a final image when they arrive at the studio.
Thank you to NV London Calcutta for providing the beautiful images for this post.