The art of hand block printing usine natural indigo dyes

Inside of a wooden block printing unit in Rajasthan

Wooden block printing in Rajasthan

Hand carved wooden blocks, in Bagru village of Rajasthan. Most block maker artisans are doing this work for generations. With changing world and with new means of communications such as email, whatsapp, GTalk and Allo new generation of block makers is able to do business in India and abroad with a lot more ease.

Bagru fabric printing in progress

Once the wooden block is made and tested, it is ready for printing. The print on the picture is not complete yet. With the help of a ready block, a plain fabric is painted with glue and then husk is spread over the glue which not dried yet. 

When the glue dries, it forms a pattern as shown in the picture. 

The fabric is dried under the sun and later it is dipped in the Indigo bath. The solution penetrates all parts of the fabric except the parts which have glue on it. The part which doesn’t have glue, becomes indigo.

Later on the fabric is washed multiple times in water with varying temperature to make it colorfast.  

Indigo bath in Bagru Rajasthan

This is how a bath of Indigo looks like. This picture was taken during our trip to Indian state of Rajasthan. We visited the Bagru village which is the hug of natural indigo printing. The owner of the printing unit told us that a medium side unit can have one or two Indigo baths. Each bath is about 6 feet deep so to make it simpler, the indigo baths are basically wells filled with liquid indigo dyes. 

The structure is joined with pipes from the base to vent and replace the old indigo dyes with new one. 

Indigo fabric dried in the sun

This picture shows hand block printed Indigo fabrics being dried in the sun. 


November 12, 2016 — DesiCrafts Shop

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