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Hand weaving Santanu`s tales

In working with various materials, traditional techniques and working closely with dyes, preservation of knowledge is core to their values.

Weaving saris

Core to Maku are values of sustainability, slow living, tradition and research oriented design.

Translating a design

“For us, design is the whole process. The way we bring things together, develop concepts, work on our expressions."

Clamp dyeing the colour

The idea with using a singular colour Indigo, was so that people would begin raising questions rather than just processing the colour and moving to the next piece of garment.

Varying tones of Indigo

With Indigo’s chemistry that makes it an organic compound and a hand-dyed shade, it is nearly impossible to maintain the same tone and hue every single time it is dyed.

if it`s not indigo, it`s white

“I feel like this is the best language to present Indigo and talk about impermanence while celebrating diversity,” Santanu explains.

An array of happy customers

Maku hopes to create intimacy with everything they make, not only in the way they create the piece, but also in the way customers interact with them.

Maku at Fashion Week

Many brands work with themes, but for Maku, fabric is central and exploration with different textures using the Indigo that is a constant is an obsession.

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Lab 13 Dec 2017

Tales of Indigo: In the world of Maku, research and slow living come first, and Indigo is the only colour

At Maku Textiles, Indigo is the only colour. But every single piece of garment they make turns a new leaf borrowing from Indigo’s multifarious variations, the techniques used and of course the design process itself. In a world where choices are the norm, regardless of the product, Maku Textiles stands out. According to Santanu Das, a designer from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and founder, Maku Textiles, ‘choices make us intolerant’. Taking this philosophy forward, he founded the brand that moves past being a textile company and intends to be a way of life, just like Indigo is. As part of our Tales of Indigo series, we explore the idea behind Maku and how the brand pursues its dedication for the dye in everything it does.

In a world where most of the information we process is visual, we are typically looking through our eyes first. But Santanu wanted people to focus on something beyond the visual. The idea with using a singular colour Indigo, was so that people would begin raising questions rather than just processing the colour and moving to the next piece of garment. This intrigue and questioning, for Santanu Das, is the key to a more meaningful lifestyle. 

Hand weaving Santanu`s tales

In working with various materials, traditional techniques and working closely with dyes, preservation of knowledge is core to their values.

 
Weaving saris

Core to Maku are values of sustainability, slow living, tradition and research oriented design.

 

Chemistry meets History

Keeping aside the multiple misconceptions associated with Indigo, at Maku, the chemistry of the dye is as important as its history. With Indigo’s chemistry that makes it an organic compound and a hand-dyed shade, it is nearly impossible to maintain the same tone and hue every single time it is dyed. Only small batches of 10 kg yarn can be dyed at a time, thereby leading to multiple batches of 10 kg yarn for even 100 metres of fabric. “In fact, dyeing with Indigo is also dependent on many other factors like climate, humidity, bacteria and yield,” Santanu says, talking about what makes the variations valuable. But learning to love these variations and accepting Indigo for the dye it is, is an awareness Maku hopes to inculcate in their customers using conversations and collections. 

Translating a design

“For us, design is the whole process. The way we bring things together, develop concepts, work on our expressions."

 

“For us, design is the whole process. The way we bring things together, develop concepts, work on our expressions, it is a way of changing our outlook.”

“I feel like this is the best language to present Indigo and talk about impermanence while celebrating diversity,” Santanu explains talking about the intrinsic variations that apply to working with Indigo. As Santanu repeatedly emphasises, at Maku, Indigo is not a colour or a shade of blue, but a way of narrowing the choices we give ourselves in order to eliminate the noise and focus on the techniques, materials used and the process. 

Clamp dyeing the colour

The idea with using a singular colour Indigo, was so that people would begin raising questions rather than just processing the colour and moving to the next piece of garment.

 

Integrating Indigo into Maku

Appreciating and focusing on knowledge in any practice they adopt is key to Maku’s outlook and way of functioning. In working with various materials, traditional techniques and working closely with dyes, preservation of knowledge is core to their values. Every collection at Maku starts with fabric. “For us, design is the whole process. The way we bring things together, develop concepts, work on our expressions, it is a way of changing our outlook,” Santanu says, delving a little into Maku’s core. 

Varying tones of Indigo

With Indigo’s chemistry that makes it an organic compound and a hand-dyed shade, it is nearly impossible to maintain the same tone and hue every single time it is dyed.

 
if it`s not indigo, it`s white

“I feel like this is the best language to present Indigo and talk about impermanence while celebrating diversity,” Santanu explains.

 

Many brands work with themes, but for Maku, fabric is central and exploration with different textures using the Indigo that is a constant is an obsession. This intensive process typically takes around 8 months to a year, which is why Maku doesn’t work collection wise like many textile companies, but instead focuses on learning and developing difference techniques and working with different fabrics each year. “Another challenge while working with Indigo is that it becomes a buzzword. But for us, we are not selling just Indigo. Indigo is crucial to our company, our way of functioning and thinking.” 

Maku at Fashion Week

Many brands work with themes, but for Maku, fabric is central and exploration with different textures using the Indigo that is a constant is an obsession.

 

“Indigo is not a colour or a shade of blue, but a way of narrowing the choices we give ourselves in order to eliminate the noise and focus on the techniques, materials used and the process.”

It is difficult to make a choice in world that is littered with options. But making that choice becomes a conscious decision to engage and spend some extra time to involve all aspects of ourselves with it. In the same line of thought, Maku hopes to create intimacy with everything they make, not only in the way they create the piece, but also in the way customers interact with them. 

An array of happy customers

Maku hopes to create intimacy with everything they make, not only in the way they create the piece, but also in the way customers interact with them.

 

At Maku, it is as much about clothing as it is about conscious customers. Braced with this drive to educate, explore and create, Maku hopes to continue analysing the system, adapting new methods and equipping themselves and their artisans with ways to make fashion accessible and sustainable. And we at CQ, look forward to seeing all the Indigo hued magic they have been building.

Keep up with Maku Textiles and their latest work on Facebook. Read more Tales of Indigo stories here.