Stumbling Blocks of Hand-Block- Print Industry

Advocacy, Policy

Stumbling Blocks of Hand-Block- Print Industry

Gautam, Kumar

Printed textiles with ethnic designs and ecofriendly natural dyes were one of India's earliest important exports and achieved great popularity in Europe in the 18th Century. Bagru and Sanganer, the two suburbs within 10-30 kms of Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, are well known for block printing industry all over India and even abroad. Till two decades or so ago, both Bagru and Sanganer were the hubs of hand-block printing with natural dyes. Bagru is renowned still for its typical red and black hand-block print in natural dyes. In Sanganer, however, for variety of reasons the traditional hand-block- printing is increasingly disappearing giving way to screen printing and digital printing. According to a rough estimate provided by some people in the industry, only about 30-35 hand-block printing enterprises exist in Sanganer today whereas the count for screen printing enterprises comes to around 150.
The State of The Art of Hand Block- printing Traditionally block-prints on textiles are created by stamping the wooden block on dyed fabrics which leaves behind the design carved on the block. Carving the design on a wooden block itself is a skill. Only an accomplished artist can do so. Mehmood Ali, 48, an award winning block maker from Bhatta colony of Jaipur has been carving beautiful designs on wooden blocks for last 32 years. He possesses a wealth of information about block making. 'These wooden blocks are made of trees called Rohera commonly found in Sanganer', he said. Those who do not have an idea ...


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