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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Bagru Hand Block Printing

Bagru Block printing
Bagru is a small city near Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, Known for its art of textile printing using natural dyes and handcarved wooden blocks. The tradition of bagru block printing is centuries old and has been kept alive by "Chippa community." Chippa is derived from word chapa which means impression. The community is concentrated in locality kown as "Chippo ka mohalla"

The process of block printing involves many steps starting from making of blocks. 
Trolly with color and blocks
Patterns of flora, fauna and geometrical patterns are drawn paper and then traced on flat surfaced wooden pieces. The patterns are then hand-carved with high precision.  Printing single textile involves use of many block, sometimes upto 20 or more. The blocks have to be carved with such detailing and precision that one block fits and complements other to complete a pattern.
Bagru Artist Purshottam Chippa showing his work
The dyes are prepared with natural things like turmeric for yellow and indigo for blue. Black is prepared by fermenting iron in jaggery mixture and so on.The undyed fabric is then soaked in muddy water and then sun dried. The process rids fabric of impurities and makes it more absorbent for colors. The dried fabric is then laid on long table and an artist, with a trolly beside him carrying color soaked sponge and blocks, starts printing.
Bagru  is a painstakingly laborious and time taking process. 
One saree may take 2-3 days for printing. Due to the time involved and precision required, most families have moved to Dabu(mud resist) or Indigo printing and very few families are now involved in bagru handblock printing. Besides, fast and easy screen printing is also posing serious threat to industry. 
Shilphaat.com has brought Bagru block printed textiles from artist Mr. Purshottam Chippa at its store.