India has a plethora of unique arts and crafts to boast about. One of them is the hand block printing that everyone in the fashion industry swears by for its versatility and elegance. People of varied customs and cultures have been using a number of hand block print techniques across India, leaving a sweet impression on the fashion industry.
If you are a textile designer, or are pursuing a degree to learn everything about textile designing, then you must know about the following types of block printing prevailing in India.
Gujarat: Practiced and perpetuated by the Paithapur families in Gujarat, the Sodagiri prints make use of intricate blocks to print textiles through the mud resist-printing method. The Dhamadka village in Gujarat famously uses the technique known as Ajrakh, which is geometric and uses natural colors made from madder root, rusty iron solution, indigo, etc. Another famous block printing center is the Kutch region of Gujarat is known for its patterns in black and red designs of birds, animals, and dancing girls.
Rajasthan: Important centers in Rajasthan for block printing are Jaipur, Bangru, Sanganer, Pali and Barmer that use colour prints of birds, animals, human figures, gods and goddesses to design the fabrics. Sanganer is famous for its Calico prints wherein the outlines are printed first followed by the colour filling. Doo Rookhi printing is another renowned block printing technique, where the artists print on both sides of the cloth. Bagru, near Jaipur, is known worldwide for its Syahi-Begar prints (combination of black and yellow ochre or cream) and Dabu prints (in which a resist paste hides the portions of the dye, creating a stunning effect on fabrics). Barmer in Rajasthan designs red chilies with blue-black outlines on the fabrics that are surrounded by flower-laden trees.
Apart from these two main states, Punjab is known for its floral and geometrical designs in light and pastel colours. West Bengal’s Serampur is the center of block printing using bold and vibrant patterns. A combination of hand painting and block printing called Kalamkari that comes from Andhra Pradesh is also gaining popularity these days.