Specialising in bringing artisan fabrics to the textile market, Blue Handed combines ancient crafting techniques from the Far East with contemporary design. The studio continues a tradition of hand-dyeing with indigo that originates from the Song dynasty in China (960 - 1279 CE). They produce exquisite lan yin huabu cloth, which is the Mandarin name for blue-printed flower cloth. It is a rather poetic name that links to traditional flower-based designs. Blue Handed also produces prints with simple geometric designs, which, despite being centuries old, look surprisingly modern.
Lan Yin Hua Bu actually refers to the "blue grass" [indigo] derived dye. The designs are made using a resist paste of powdered soybean and lime and hand-cut stencil paper. Each part of the design and dyeing process is done by an Indigo Master who has over fifty years of experience. His skills were handed down by four previous Masters using unchanged traditional methods.
Blue-Handed has an exclusive relationship with the Indigo Master, working closely together to produce cloth of the highest quality. The studio also works with designers around the world to create bespoke and exclusive patterns. In a world of fast fashion and mass-production, this slow fashion style is based on the same principles of the slow food movement, which seeks to support local industry and defend regional traditions.
Selvedge is proud to be collaborating with Blue Handed, who are giving away a handmade indigo bedcover worth £465 to one lucky reader. The bedcover is stitched together with Blue Handed’s signature triple stitching and is reversible with a beautiful mottled effect at the back, a sign of its artisanal character. Made from pure cotton, the bedcover features a pattern known as Feng Opera Peony with a Phoenix: a peony flower and large flower composition. The Phoenix, represents the male and the peony, the most important flower, represents the women and is also a symbol of wealth. All together they symbolise a rich life and a complete marriage. This is a timeless piece to enjoy today and treasure for tomorrow.
Blog post by Jessica Edney