Feb 22, 2023


Manish Agarwal

Natural Fab

 Block Printing is an ancient and   traditional art form of printing on   fabric, paper, and other   materials  originated in India   many years ago using vegetable   dyes and natural colors. Block   Printing in India in other forms is   widely known as “Woodblock   Printing”, “Woodcut Printing” or   “Hand block Printing”. The block   printing art is done by following a beautiful process where the required designs are carved on the blocks and natural dyes are used for printing on fabrics.


The traditional art of Block Printing is being practiced in Rajasthan, India for more than 500 years. Block Printing was started in the 12th century and the rich art form of printing on fabrics was being enjoyed by the Kings and Queens which made Block Printing art recognizable as royal patronage from that time. Block printing on fabrics was introduced by the old Chippa Community located in the Bagru district of Rajasthan.


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The block printing art on fabric has been passed down to generations introducing various printing forms like Bagru printing, Sanganeri printing, Kalamkari block printing, Ajrakh printing, and Dabu printing.  Sanganer and Bagru in Rajasthan are the major hubs of Block printing in India while block printing has a huge unorganized textile market including Block Print Quilts, Kurtis, Shirts, Bedsheets, Scarfs, etc.



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 Block printing is a simple and   manual  process, yet time-   consuming. The wooden blocks are   carved according to the design   required and dipped into the natural   or vegetable dyes and colors and   then pressed on the cloth for the   printing on fabric. While the block   printing process needs the practice   to  master but the simple procedure   is as follows:




Firstly, a design is drawn on the paper which is going to be carved on the wooden block. These designs can be inspired by Sanganeri prints, Mughal prints, motifs, etc. After the design drawing, the design is traced and carved on the wooden blocks by hand. The block craving is done separately for individual color.

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E.g. If two colors i.e. ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ are being used in the design, then woodblock carving is done on two individual blocks for different colors. The woodblock carving is done carefully and requires years of experience and apprenticeship to gain mastery, leaving behind the required design carved beautifully.





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 The local artisans’ pre-washes and dyes the   fabric. We at Naturalfab also practice pre-   washing of the cloth or fabric before the block   printing process which makes the block printing   art more eye-catching and beautiful. Pre-   washing  the fabric also ensures the woodblock   printing gives a natural and clean look to the   block printing designs which will be carved on   the  fabric. 




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 Once the block is carved the master       prepares the dyes and colors for printing   on fabric by mixing three to four colors   together. The colors prepared are then   kept inside a small wooden tray and the   blocks need to be dipped in the color   each time before printing on the fabric.






The fabric is dyed and is spread over the printing table, tucked in by all pins properly to prevent any misprinting. The carved wooden blocks of the designs are dipped into the dyes or colors and stamped on the fabric with a force of hand. The process takes time and energy as each color block is stamped individually on the fabric which brings out the best of woodblock printing or block printing art.

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Printing on the fabric is done carefully by keeping the designs in alignment and following the same alignment throughout the process for the clean and artistic look. This block printing process creates artistic traditional designs with hard-work and dedication of the artisans and this printed fabric can be used to create block print products.




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  After the block printing process, once   the dye has dried, the fabric is   washed in the local water bodies or   washing tanks in the manufacturing   units. The block print design is   hanged to dry in the sun through the   natural process by reducing the   carbon footprint and making it   sustainable.




Block printing is a traditional art that is being followed from years.The designs and art forms that originated from block printing are considered the most popular and best all over the world. These traditional block printing designs are made by artisan's hard-work and energy and add a cultural and trendy vibe. Also, there are various sub art forms of block printing which are Bagru printing, Ajrakh printing, Kalamkari Block printing, Dabu printing and Sanganeri prints which have gained popularity over the years and are widely used in manufacturing various kinds of textile products.

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Sanganer near Jaipur is a textile and export hub of block print fabrics and block printed design products in all over the world. In addition to the normal designs, the traditional block print designs include designs of small flowers, various bootis, motifs, Mughal designs like elephants, luxuriant flowers, etc. from ancient times which are very popular in India.

Thus, Block printing needs proper artwork, experience, and knowledge of the artisans to create a wonderful and artistic piece of block printing designs and sustainable manufacturing practices to support the artisans and ensuring sustainability.

We at Naturalfab manufacture beautifully made Block PrintJaipuri Razai (Quilts) handcrafted with love and care, to keep you warm and cozy. Shop the collection at our online store or visit our store.


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