Tale of a Tunic

The Bhadra tunic combines relaxed style with dramatic design.  The fabric is created by a combination of techniques. Hand block printing, an ancient Indian art, uses hand-carved wood blocks to stamp the motifs in wax.  Then the artisans further express their creativity by painting additional elements freehand.

Hand painting

The blocks are first stamped with wax and then connected with brush strokes.


The fabric is dyed in the khaki color and hung to dry. Then the areas that will remain tan in the final fabric are hand painted on, even areas within the block.  It is then dyed in a dark charcoal grey and the wax is removed in boiling water. The original wax lines and block remain natural, the color of the fabric. The second wax lines stay khaki after the khaki dyeing process.  


After the garment is sewn, it’s time for the hand-embroidered accents.


Take a look at how the hand embroidery is done by this skilled artisan in the video below.





  1. I have just gotten a tunic like the one she is working on. I like to think that she is making mine! I so enjoy thinking about the people who have made the things I get to wear. They bless us all in different ways!!!

    Best wishes for successful work. A faithful customer, Ophelia Pujol. Houston Texas.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Ophelia. We appreciate your good wishes and your support for the MarketPlace artisans. It could very well be YOUR tunic that was created in this post. The photos were taken some time ago, so the timing might be right!

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