Hand Block Printed Fabric

  • Sanganeri Indian Block Print Fabric

    Whenever tourists come to India, especially who are foreigners realize the importance of handmade articles. As during their visits to different monuments, they can see vendors selling jewellery, trendy Indian cotton fabrics by the yard, shawls, rugs and even furniture being made at that juncture. They can see craftsmen making portraits, painting, and shawls and if you visit the villages of Rajasthan, you can see teams of the local people doing block printing on plain fabrics.

    In Rajasthan, Chhipa technique is used for traditional Indian block print, the common elements are mud resistance or exonerate or wax resistance method. Although these days modern procedures like screen printing are in practise but still, this old method is in practise. The Chhipas passed their skill to younger generations, because of which the expertise remains even today.

    The exquisiteness of the original Indian block print fabric by the yard is heavily dependent on water, thus commercially printing is conducted nearby water body in places like Jodhpur, Sanganer, Bagru, Akola, Barmer etc. With the time, block printing has been developed in various designs and styles. The villagers of Sanganer have become resource of fine blocks cutting and block prints. For more than 5 centuries Sanganeri prints have proliferated, they got popular in India between 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. The Sanganeri calico prints became one of the chief export items of East India Company during that time.

    Throughout the wars of marathas and mughals, many printers drifted from Gujarat to Rajasthan towards the end of the 17th century. Under the imperial support during 18th century beautiful Indian block print fabric industry was expanded in Sanganer.

    Dyeing of printed cloth is done with natural elements like vegetable colours because of which finished clothes emit pleasing aroma.

    It is renowned for its Calico saris, bed sheets and quilts. Calico prints comprise of outlines that are printed first and then the colours are filled inside them, usually floral. The printing takes place constantly in transverse rows with bold colours. Doo Rookhi is a well-known technique, in which artists print on both sides of the cloth. In sanganeri prints, subtle floral sprig are prevalent.

    Sanganer town is renowned all over the world due to its colourful block print textiles and handmade paper. Today at least 315 micro, small and medium size units of block printing operate at Sanganer. Numbers of artisans engaged is 1800 to 3000, out of which 1200 families only source of earning are these units. Besides this, above 3000 people indirectly generate revenue through this business by providing raw materials, sales , production, designing for making garments, packaging, transportation and exportation. More than 25% of the town’s residents either directly or indirectly are dependent on Sanganeri print Industries for their livelihood.

    The habitual block makers and dyers settled from Punjab and Sindh to Sanganer. Almost every ‘Chhipa’ family resident in the town is involved in the process of dyeing, washing and printing, while the printers are principally Hindus, while dyers and block makers are Muslims.

    The Saraswati River water that flow genially through Sanganer, was acknowledged for its extraordinary quality that brought out brilliance on the naturally dyed fabric.

  • Learn about Made-In-India Fabrics!

    I always wonder that how different kinds of fabrics are made. The techniques behind the making of handmade block print and ikat fabrics are commendable. It is completely beyond imagination that how a simple plain thread is converted to beautiful ikat fabric after processing. The way the different types of handmade fabrics are made is worth watching. Below are the making processes of some of the handmade fabrics:

    Block Print Fabric:
    The making process of handmade block print fabrics requires plain fabric (mostly cotton is used), designer wooden blocks, and colors. In this process, the running fabric is first stretched and tied over a table in order to avoid any crimples. The process is followed by dipping a wooden block in the platter of thick liquid colors. Different wooden blocks are created for different designs. The design is taken onto the fabric by stamping the colored blocks. The same process is repeated until the fabric is completely printed. It is a widely used technique in India which has gained popularity outside India with time. The people outside India are very fond of these prints and love to shop handmade fabrics from India.

    Tie and Die Fabric:

    The technique behind its making lies in its name. It involves tieing and than dyeing a fabric. In this process, small knots are tied all around the fabric. These knots prevent the fabric from absorbing colors. The fabric with knots tied on it is than dyed in different colors. After dyeing, the cloth is left to dry. As soon as the fabric gets dried, the knots are opened thus leaving behind beautiful texture which is called tie and die print. It can have multiple variations depending upon the number and type of knots tied on the fabric. One of the most famous variation in tie and die fabric is shivori.

    Ikat Fabric:
    It is the most difficult process of fabric creation. In other fabrics, the fabric was made available and then it was processed to create different designs. But the technique in the creation of ikat fabric lays in the making process of fabric which results to varied patterns in the fabric. In this process, the bundles of threads are first tied and died. These bundles are tied in various patterns by using elastic bands which prevent the particular space from dyeing. This leaves the spaces as uncoloured and hence a unique pattern is created. These thread bundles are woven into fabric which is called ikat fabric. The ikat fabrics are comparatively expensive than other Indian fabrics but it carry its own richness.

    These are only a few fabrics which are made in India and have always been the speciality of the country. Besides them, there are many other prints like ajrakh, kalamkari, paisley for which India has always been known. You can find ample of handmade Indian fabrics at Navyasfashion at cheap costs.

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