This shift dress is made of 100% natural cotton by fair trade artisans in India. The natural (no chemicals used) cotton is grown in the nearby state where the block printing is done by medium-sized farmers and mills. Not only are no chemicals used but the cotton is bleached using a 100% eco process of bleaching and softening the cotton with cow dung (yes, you read correctly). Then the fabrics are pre-treated with myrobalan, a fruit, so the dyes will penetrate the fabric. The dye is natural and plant-based, and includes ingredients like sugar and pomegranate. A hand-carved block that features the desired design is then dipped in the dye. An artisan stamps the fabric by hand onto the fabric from left to right and bottom to top until the entire piece of fabric is printed. The piece is then washed in a flowing river or freshwater pond.
The dried fabric is then boiled in copper vessels using leaves, roots, barks, and flowers in order to create the desired color. The fabric is washed again to remove the excess natural materials. After washing, the fabric is hung to dry in the sun. A starch is created with rice and applied to the fabric in order to fix the dyes onto the fabric. The fabric is then washed with soap, dried in the sun and pressed and folded. Now the fabric is ready to be cut and stitched by fair trade artisans.
Cotton is India's number one export and by supporting and buying India grown cotton, the farmers can continue to have a sustainable business and of course, it also helps support the economy. Passion Lilie is a member of the Fair Trade Federation and is a Green America certified business.