Posted on 13 February 2012
Anyone who has ever bought any fabric in India knows that, more often than not the dye in the fabric run. This was a huge concern for me as it is vital that Marzipants are machine washable. Even though I was assured the cotton wouldn’t run when I bought it, the first thing to do when we got to India was a washing test. 1st test was a hand wash test, done in the middle of Ashok’s sitting room with a bucket, some hot water (that had to be boiled on the stove) & his family watching on in mild amusement. [caption id="attachment_214" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="1st test"][/caption] So much rested on the colours being fast. I’d designed my whole new range with contrasting belts & patterns. If the colour ran, I’d have to rethink the whole collection & the cotton I’d already purchased would be useless. We all held our breath as I scrubbed at the fabric & swirled it round & round the bucket, Ashok looking more worried than anyone. It didn’t matter how hard I scrubbed – no dye came out. Next test was the big one – the washing machine test! Sounds easy, but finding a washing machine in rural India is not as simple as it sounds. Ashok had persuaded his uncle to help us out & after 20 mins down a bumpy track in the back of a tuk-tuk we reached his house. [caption id="attachment_213" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="The different buttons were proving little confusing!"][/caption] The funniest part was Ashok’s cousin pretending he’d used a washing machine before, but still looking very confused when confronted with the various different settings. In reality he works in I.T. in Bangalore & hadn’t a clue how to work one. Over here it doesn’t matter how old you are, your wife or your mother still does your washing for you! However, he bravely loaded said machine, got it running & 3 cups of chai later & much to our delight he pulled out sparkling clean, super colour-fast samples. Hurrah! [caption id="attachment_215" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Hurrah!"][/caption] Tomorrow we can start work as planned on the designs, with the colours & patterns I’d spent so long working on.