Lovely to meet you – I’m Ivy Pierce, an interior designer and a mom to my two-year-old little girl, Heidi. This collection was inspired by my first trip to India in 2019 – I returned home with a passion for the traditional block printed textiles I saw in Jaipur, and I knew I needed to share this incredible artistry with the world!
Upon returning home, we found out we were expecting our first baby, and I began to dream up ways I could incorporate my newfound Indian treasures into her nursery. I designed block printed baby bedding to use in her room, which you will see in this look book. Throughout my career as an interior designer, I have been incredibly fortunate to create many beautiful nurseries over the years, and they are truly my favorite projects. There is always so much hope and joy surrounding a nursery project and the arrival of a sweet new baby!
When the global pandemic hit, I found myself isolated at home with a newborn baby. To take my mind off of the stressful health crisis, Heidi and I played dress-up each day for our walks around the neighborhood. We dressed her in sweet smocked dresses, precious bubbles and vintage clothing I had collected for her over the years, and I found myself wishing I had something as comfortable and breezy as her outfits for myself. Thus, the India & Ivy collection was born!
Our collection is a marriage of two time-honored traditional handicrafts – smocking and block printing. Each India & Ivy piece is a bespoke creation, made especially for you and your little love by artisans in India, and takes about three months to produce! Our fabrics, which are hand printed in Jaipur using natural vegetable dyes, are 100% organic cotton – safe for your sweet baby, yet soft and luxurious for mama! We have our dresses smocked and finished in Chennai by a lovely female-owned workroom that trains women in this traditional craft and then offers employment and fair wages to them. Many of these female artisans work from home while caring for their own children. Ethically sourced production is our top priority, and we are so proud to provide employment to other mamas in India!
I hope you fall in love with this collection and these beautiful traditions we adore!
The Art of Block Printing
While the traditional craft of block printing is thought to have originated around 1300 BC, the style we see today gained popularity during the Mughal Empire. These beautiful, intricate floral motifs are still wildly popular 400 years later! Today, the block printing capital of the world is Jaipur - a magical pink city in Rajasthan, India.
The process of block printing is no simple task: it begins with the ground fabric (we choose to use organic cotton), which is laid out flat on long work tables. Next, the wood “block", similar to a stamp, is hand carved with unique, intricate designs. The block is dipped into a dye made from vegetables and natural minerals before it is delicately pressed onto the fabric. The artisan then repeats this process with the utmost precision, carefully matching each block’s stamp to the last to ensure a consistent pattern across the length of the fabric. For patterns with multiple colors, multiple blocks are used, with drying time between colors. Finally, the fabric is rinsed in a solution that brings out the vibrancy of the dyes and then dried.
The process is arduous and for this reason, each India & Ivy piece can take weeks, even months to produce. Slight variations in pattern and color are expected, and we embrace this uniqueness as a reminder of the talented artists who have so lovingly printed our fabric. We hope this knowledge will lead you to cherish your block print creations for years to come!
At the core of this collection of beautiful handmade items, lies a love for the tiniest people in our lives - our children. Children give us a gift each and every day, whether it is the gift of patience, the gift of hope, or the perception of something new through their eyes - it only seems fitting that we should give back to the children who give us so much. To show our gratitude to the incredible culture that inspires the India & Ivy collection, a portion of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to Unicef India. Unicef works across India to save children's lives, help them fulfill their potential, and defend their rights. We are so very proud to provide support for this wonderful organization!