Hand Block Prints

Hand block printing is a traditional form of imparting motifs and colour on fabric, mostly cotton. Carved wooden blocks soaked in different colors are pasted on the fabric.
Hand Block Printing  
Rajasthan is the heartland of hand block printing. Sanganer is virtually flooded with block makers and printers to the extent that textiles are hand block printed in the courtyards of homes. The chief color used is orange and red with floral prints in yellow and blue black.
The art of Khari or overprinting in gold is also practised here. Today, traditional vegetable and mineral dyes are gradually being replaced by chemical ones. Sanganeri prints command a huge demand from major fashion centres world wide.
The town of Bagru excels in delightful circular designs in dark glowing vegetable colors printed on bed spreads, table linen and clothes. Textiles printed here, have won the hearts of millions at home and abroad.
From the shimmering deserts of Barmer come the geometric Ajrak print, in dark shades of blue and red for protection from the sun.
Nathdwara scores high with its sarees, wraps, kerchiefs and quilt covers, in designs similar to the PIchwais made here.
Hand Block Printing  
The red, black and olive green, mosaic like patterns of the Jajams of Chittorgarh are used for womens skirt and wraps and floor covering.
Cotton is also printed in Ahmedabad, Sanganer, Bagru, Farukhabad and Pethapur, the main centres in Rajasthan and Gujarat where hand block printing seems to have continued to flourish.
In fact the prints of these areas seem to be quite similar. The Bagru and Sanganeri prints cannot be easily distinguished but if one looks carefully each has its own typical characteristics. The Sanganer prints are always on a white background, whereas the Bagru prints are essentially in red and black.

Different Techniques of Hand Block Printing

  • Discharge Printing:Firstly the fabric on which printing is to be done is dyed. The dye is removed from the part of fabric on which designs are to be made by use of a chemical. Then those segments printed are treated so that they can be re-colored.

  • Direct Block Printing:The fabric used here is either cotton or silk. The cloth is first bleached, and then dyed with the desired color. After that block printing is done on borders with carved wooden blocks then inside the borders.

  • Resist Printing:In this technique the part of the cloth which is not to be dyed is covered with the paste of resin and clay. Then the fabric is dyed with the desirable color, at this stage the dye penetrates through the cracks which create wavy effect of colors on the cloth. After this the fabric is finally block printed.

Jaipur not being the biggest centre for hand block print is a trading centre for the craft and you can find local shops in Bapu Bazar Nehru bazar and Johari Bazar all selling various hand block printed items.