Each season in our ready-to-wear collection, a proportion of the silks featured in the designs are hand screen printed in collaboration with charity Women’s Interlink Foundation, based in Kolkata, in association with Key To Freedom. The charities work to rehabilitate and reintegrate women back into society who have been victims of human trafficking and the sex trade, and provide them with a sustainable livelihood.
A true artisanal skill, screen printing has been a popular technique in both the fashion and art world, with artists such as Andy Warhol using it for his infamous portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
Screen printing is a stencil method of printmaking in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by the fill blade or squeegee and by wetting the substrate, transferred onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke. As the screen rebounds away from the substrate the ink remains on the substrate. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a multicoloured image or design.
Traditionally the process was called silkscreen printing as silk was used before the invention of polyester mesh. This has been used for three of our silks for Spring Summer 2017, including our coral tile print which is seen here in three of our designs.