Callender began by stitching and dyeing three giant pieces of cotton in You Gotta Learn To Say Fuck Them Just Like They Say Fuck You Shirt hyper-detailed flower motifs, a process that took several weeks. Cutting that fabric into Merlette dresses wouldn’t have made sense; natural indigo isn’t colorfast, so it can fade when a garment is washed, and the time-intensive nature of shibori would mean Cortbawi could only produce a handful of pieces (plus, they’d be a lot more expensive). Instead, she worked closely with Callender to digitize the artwork and print it onto Merlette’s organic cotton—a process that will allow Cortbawi to meet the demand she’s already seeing from retailers and customers. “It’s about honoring these ancient techniques, but modernizing them,” she explains.
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