When it comes to block print outfits, Jaipur holds a special place in the country. The city is one of the large exporters of the outfits made with block printed fabrics. Sanganer and Bagru in Jaipur are known among the wholesalers from all over the country and even overseas as the best places to buy block printed fabrics.
The most popular outfits are kurtis and kurtas. Block printed bedsheets, pillow covers and drapes are also popular worldwide.
The block printed fabrics gained popularity during Mughal period in India, says Ekta Sharma from Kurti Fashion, a website selling kurtis and kurtas.
“Block printing from Jaipur became immensely popular across the country. There are many families here who have been involved in manufacturing block printed fabrics for generations,” she adds.
In Bagru you will find Syahi Begar and Dabu prints, two of the most popular block printing techniques, while Sanganer is known for Calico and Doo Rookhi prints.
Apart from Bagru and Sanganer, some other places in Rajasthan including Pali and Barmer are also known for block printing.
“Block printing techniques is a technique of dyeing and colouring fabric with specially designed wooden blocks. It takes a lot of time to prepare these blocks. Before these blocks are made with wood, the block printing artists use chalk paste or just draw the blocks on a piece of paper. It takes a couple of weeks to create wooden blocks from the chalk paste designs,” said Gajendra Saini who owns a kurti factory in Sanganer.
The blocks and then pressed on to the fabric with utmost precision and care.
“It really takes a lot of effort to prepare multi-colour block printed fabrics as there would be blocks for each colour. Only after a colour dries, another colour can be applied to the fabric. The process is slow,” Saini adds.
Steaming, drying, washing and ironing are also part of the printing process.