The Dabu Process Behind Our Batik Indigo Collection

Saffron Marigold - Updated: July 20, 2021

Dabu printing is a special form of block printing that’s both time-intensive and time-honored. Our artisans use the “double dabu” method to print our Starry Nights batik indigo collection.

indigo blue batik duvet cover, fair trade
the Starry Nights indigo batik duvet cover

Rather than using wax resist, dabu is created using a finely sieved mud paste, which is applied to fabric using a printer’s block. After applying the resist, artisans immerse the fabric in dye. For example, in order to block print Starry Nights, we immerse the fabric in pure indigo dye. We rinse the fabric, and then we repeat the entire process to create layers of color.

block printing with the dabu process
the making of Starry Nights

This particular block printing process leaves behind what’s known as veining–tiny lines of dye that make their way under the paste. This adds to the richness and originality of the print.

blue block printed fabric made with the dabu process
a close up of our blue indigo Starry Nights block print

Double dabu fabric makes each piece unique, each piece being not quite identical to the next. After all, this is the beauty of handmade, handcrafted linens.

Dabu printing is a rare art form these days. However, in collaboration with our artisans in Rajasthan, India, we are working to keep this traditional craft alive. If you love a global look and want to create a handcrafted, soulful space, then Starry Nights may very well speak to your sense of style.