Culture of hand block printing
Taking you on an in-depth tour of the rich heritage of our country with block painting as the main focus.
India has been gifted with diverse cultures to explore & fall in love with. Look around yourself & it’s self-explanatory, be it food, music, customs & practices or clothing, the preference changes as we travel through the country. Our ancestors left behind a culture to be cherished for eternity. Not only Indians, but people around the globe are crazy when it comes to authentic Indian products. The handwork of the artisans, the intricacy of the work & the stories behind their illustrious prints, all of it is very fascinating.
While people are in love with the products, very few possess in-depth knowledge about the same. The process of making these fabrics is as beautiful as the prints themselves. The techniques of block printing differ from region to region & the artisans have been perfecting their techniques over generations now. We tried to bring to you the essence of the different techniques through a description of them.
The direct bleaching system
In this technique, the cloth is primarily bleached & then dyed. Performed mainly on cotton or silk cloth. The beauty of the fabric is then enhanced by using wooden pieces to carve out various designs on the fabric. Just like elementary painting lessons, first, you paint the outline & then your fill in the colors. The same is practiced in this technique as well.
Only if we would actually resist the products
This technique works the other way round. Instead of dying the fabric directly, it involves covering the parts of fabric which aren’t supposed to be dyed & then dying the entire fabric. The areas are protected with clay & resin. The dye creates a rippled effect. Block prints are used to create further designs.
The direct dye
In this technique, the fabric is first dyed. Next chemicals are used to remove dye from the portions which are later replaced by some other designs.
While grasping the knowledge of different techniques, have you ever wondered how exactly is block printing done? The process?
The fabric to be printed is first washed thoroughly to get rid of the starch.
In case tie-dye is required, this is done prior to the printing process. If the fabric is dyed, it has to be washed to remove the extra colors. Such fabrics are sun-dried as opposed to the sun-kissed trend.
Next comes the delicate part, where the fabric is stretched over a printing table and carefully secured with pins.
The desired colors are mixed and kept separately. The wooden pieces are carved beforehand to imprint the designs on the cloth. The imprinting process requires careful hand-eye coordination, as one mistake could bring the process back to square one.
Having known the process & the intricacy it carries, it seems worthwhile to wait for our handmade products authentically made with love.