It’s more unlikely than ever to come across something genuine and handcrafted. Can you imagine what it was like before modernity when all patterns were imprinted using a completely different method? Believe it or not, traditional block printing is still practiced in a few villages and small workshops in India.
They’ve made a strong commitment to passing down this century-old method to future generations. Colorful prints of human characters, birds, animals, and various gods and goddesses are very popular in Rajasthan. West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra are among the other Indian states where block printing is practiced.
What is Block Printing?
It’s a technique in which artisans use wooden or metal blocks to dye and color gorgeous designs onto the cloth. India is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of this cloth. Although it has been claimed that artists have been utilizing this technique since the 12th century, subsequent investigation has revealed that it originated in China.
Rajasthani prints dating back to the third century are also on display! It’s hard to believe that our country has preserved this great tradition for so long. Parts of this procedure have improved with the passage of time, but many places continue to use the original handcrafted method, thanks to collaboration among block carvers and rangrez dyers.
This procedure requires eye and hand coordination, yet even flaws contribute to the craft’s beauty! Although this complicated process for generating hand-carved block prints began in China, it was in India that it achieved its pinnacle of creativity. When it comes to natural plant dyes, the Indians are experts. We use mordants, which are metallic salts that create color and allow it to set into cloth.
There’s also dabu, a type of resist-printing that thrived in this region, in which dye-free regions of cloth were saved to create unique designs. Discharge printing is a type of block printing in which the fabric is dyed beforehand, then chemicals are used to remove the dye from certain areas, resulting in multicolored images.
Indian block printers were able to create unique patterns and complicated designs with incomparable beauty and charm using a combination of mordants, dabu, and dyeing. India has created gorgeous designs for saris, bedsheets, cushion covers, and other materials that we may use in our daily life thanks to block printing!
Hand Block Printing Process
Block printing is a time-consuming technique. Each new pattern necessitates the creation of new blocks. A classic or modern design is first sketched on paper and then transferred to a block of wood. These blocks are often made of certain species of wood, the most common of which are teak or mango wood.
Each color in the design must be represented by a different block. The cloth used must also be prepared in order for it to receive the designs and colors. Often, fabric treatment takes many days, and the cloth is dipped and treated several times to reinforce it. Colors used in block printing are an integral aspect of the overall process.
The majority of shades are created using natural dyes. The artisans can begin printing after the fabric has been trimmed to size, the colors have been prepared, and the blocks have been created. They start by spreading the fabric out over a long table and drawing a chalk reference line. Then dip the block in the dye, press it firmly on the fabric, and strike it with a hammer or their hand.
This procedure is repeated until the pattern has completely covered the length of the fabric. If the design calls for numerous colors, the artist lets each one dry before moving on to the next, stamping each one separately. It is extremely time-consuming and requires precision so that there are no breaks in the motif.
Block Printing in Home Furnishing Items
- Hand Block Printed Bed Sheets, with their brilliant color and elegance, add to the charm of a bedroom.
- Hand Block Printed Table Runner, which is highly durable and sturdy. It is both affordable and stylish.
- Superior quality Hand Block Printed Handloom Rugs, which are manufactured keeping in mind the latest trends and fashion.
- Hand Block Printed Cushion Covers, which are manufactured using high-quality material and beautiful colors.
- Hand Block Printed Curtains are available in different prints, designs, and styles. These give a perfect look to your home.
Block printing is a time-consuming procedure that necessitates exceptional accuracy. The majority of the intricate and delicate features are reserved until last so that they may be given adequate time to avoid harm. Every region of the nation has its own collection of dyes and designs that are unique to that location.
Block printing art is a lovely method to connect with the past and learn about a community’s and people’s history. Preserving some of the dying forms of art is not only essential but also a responsibility. We, at Astitva Homes, were highly fascinated by the originality and preservation of heritage in this intricate process.