Bagru printing is a traditional printing technique which uses natural colours, such as indigo. It is practised by the Chippas in the region of Rajasthan. The process starts with preparing the cloth to finish printed fabrics following indigenous methods. The unique patterns and motifs are printed on light-coloured backgrounds with wooden blocks following two styles: direct and resist.
India is a pioneer in the art of dyeing and printing with natural colours. Dyeing with indigo historically was a mystery to many travellers to India because they could observe no colour when the fabric is dipped in indigo baths, the colour develops during exposure to open air. Hand block printing has been recognised as a craft through generations in different regional groups throughout the country. Each group follows their own distinct style and methods, which incorporates locally available natural materials and motifs. The ancient tradition of ‘Bagru’ hand block printing is still practised.
The final process to create a Bagru fabric is known as tapai (sun bleaching). This means the fabric is washed to remove excess dust and dirt and is kept in the sunlight for drying. Once tapai is done, the Bagru fabric is ready to use. Bagru printing cloths are used both in a modern and traditional way.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.