Our design team worked with skilled artisans in a factory in Jaipur to develop the cushions for our new Soho House Mumbai collection.

‘You’ll see a version of our Priya cushion in the rooms at Soho House Mumbai. We drew inspiration from those pieces and created this one for our Mumbai collection. I like the geometric elements and the colour palette because it’s got on trend shades like blue and mustard which can fit easily into people’s existing colour schemes. I also love the little onion-shaped, hand-tied onion tassels. A lot of work goes into each of these cushions, they all feature traditional Indian craftsmanship and skilled techniques.’

'We work with this particular factory in Jaipur because they’re experts in hand block printing and they have archives of hundreds of thousands of designs for us to choose from and make our own, while still retaining the traditional elements of design. To begin with we draw up a CAD design showing what we would like and we look at some different colouration ideas. The design is then made into reality by using wooden blocks which are hand carved. Some of them take up to a hundred hours to craft – they literally carve out the design in the reverse so when you print with it, it prints in the pattern. They have a different block for each layer of colour and part of the pattern.'

Made by hand

'They lay out lines with chalk on the fabric using a piece of thread with weights on the end. They’ll drop it down, gauging by eye, in straight lines, like a cutting pattern. These guys are incredible, to see them doing it, the accuracy is second to none. They put the block in the paint tray, knock it a couple of times to make sure the correct thickness of paint is on the block, then lay it on the fabric and bang it to transfer the paint.'

Sustainable style

'The fabric is 100% linen, also woven in India. Linen is a more durable fabric and it washes and wears a lot better than cotton for example. You also get that gorgeous slubby texture which translates really well into home textiles. It’s also nice that it’s 100% natural fabric and its production process is very sustainable.'

Done by eye

'Everything is done by eye, there’s no pattern laid out, it’s purely their block, their hand, and they line up all the edges by eye and do it right first time, every time. They start with the first colour, then lay on the second, third and fourth colour – and they’re so accurate they’re going by what they’ve already done – they line it up by eye and it’s perfect.'

Master craftsman

'I loved being given the chance to try block printing myself – it was really hard! It really brought home to me the exceptionally high level of skill involved – if you look at the final product, it seems quite simple, but when you try it yourself you realise the intricacy of the process and how the people who make it are true artisans who work with incredible speed and accuracy.'

Soho House Mumbai

Look for our hand block printed cushions in the club spaces and bedrooms at Soho House Mumbai